Family of murdered ANC ex-branch leader sues party for 'negligence'

11 August 2020 - 14:27 By ANDISIWE MAKINANA
The family of a man who was allegedly beaten to death by six men during an ANC branch general meeting has accused the party of negligence, saying it failed to provide security at the meeting.
The family of a man who was allegedly beaten to death by six men during an ANC branch general meeting has accused the party of negligence, saying it failed to provide security at the meeting.
Image: Stephanie de Sakutin

A family in Mpumalanga is suing the ANC for R10m over the death of their husband and father at a party branch meeting earlier this year.

Prince Manzini, 45, was allegedly beaten to death by six men on March 15 at Ward 32 in Gutshwa during an ANC branch general meeting held to nominate candidates for the regional and provincial elective conference.

His family accused the party of negligence, saying it failed to provide security at the  branch meeting though it was “reasonably foreseeable” it could become violent.

Mabuza Attorneys, acting on behalf of the family, wrote to the ANC on Friday demanding the party pay R10.1m for the loss suffered by the family, including loss of support, emotional shock, grief and constitutional damages.

The family wants R3m to be paid towards Manzini's wife, R3m for his 24-year-old son, R4m for his 16-year-old daughter and R100,000 for funeral expenses.

The lawyers demanded payment within 14 days of receipt of the letter or the party would face legal action.

Legal action

“Unless we receive payment within the period set out in the preceding paragraph, our instruction is to institute legal action against yourselves without any further notice,” warned the lawyers.

“Notwithstanding the above demand, it is our instruction that given the sensitivity of the matter and the emotional pains our clients continue to be subjected to due to reckless public utterances by some members of the ANC, our clients would like this matter to be treated with high sensitivity for a sensible amicable resolution which would quickly bring closure and redress to them.

“In the circumstances, we are instructed to further inform you that our client would wish this matter to be amicably resolved, and in this regard is willing to engage on settlement in an attempt to resolve this matter without the need to proceed with litigation, as envisaged in Rule 41A of the high court,” read the letter.

Manzini was a former secretary of the branch and an active ANC member who worked as a customer care officer at the Mbombela municipality.

The family claim he was killed due to the party's negligent conduct because it failed or omitted to ensure that only accredited party members attended the meeting.

“You failed to provide security at the meeting, given the fact that it was reasonably foreseeable the aforesaid meeting could become violent.

“The people who killed the deceased were your members and/or people who attended your [meeting] at the instance of your members,” read the letter.

“The family is also entitled to constitutional damages as a result of the killing of the deceased,” read the letter.

ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe has been approached for comment. This article will be updated when he comments.

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