The African National Congress (ANC) in Mpumalanga has suspended its Regional Executive Committee (REC) member, Bongani Phakathi,who allegedly assaulted some members and discharged a firearm during a meeting that was held in Morgenzone over the weekend.

ANC Spokesperson in Mpumalanga, Sasekani Manzini, says they are concerned that violence is becoming a norm during ANC meetings in the province.

Manzini says they decided to suspend Phakathi after a video showing him firing a shot emerged.

“We don’t expect members of the REC to go around holding guns. On that one, the PEC (Provincial Executive Committee) took a decision to suspend the member immediately, while we are still waiting for a formal report from the regional committee on exactly what transpired. But we are condemning it for members of the ANC to have guns in their possession when attending ANC meetings because we don’t expect any person to feel threatened.”

Meanwhile, Phakathi has dismissed allegations that he assaulted some of his party members who attended the meeting. He claims to have fired a shot with the aim of dispersing a group of men who were attacking him and another ANC member.

” I did not assault anyone. I did discharge a firearm after my car first was damaged and secondly, three people were approaching me. If you look at that video very well … I had to fire the warning shot because my life was threatened and my vehicle had already been damaged to make sure that I protect my colleague who was already lying on the floor being beaten by this guy.”