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20 Feb 2009 10:09
The African National Congress (ANC) expects “chaos” in KwaZulu-Natal on Sunday should the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) go ahead with a rally just a stone’s throw away from a gathering it has planned.
“It will be held under a tree. It is clear to us that they are trying to disrupt our rally just like they did in Nongoma,” the ANC’s provincial spokesperson Nonfundo Mcetywa said on Friday.
The ANC plans to hold a rally in Nseleni, outside Richard’s Bay, on Sunday.
The IFP intends holding a meeting just 500m from the ANC venue the same day.
Nseleni is seen as an IFP stronghold, as is Nongoma, where ANC supporters were attacked while going to a rally in January, following a war of words between ANC and IFP leaders.
The IFP has denied the ANC’s claims, maintaining that preparations for its rally started in December.
It was supposed to have been held at the venue where the ANC rally was taking place, but was moved to accommodate the ANC, said IFP national organiser Albert Mncwango.
“We have gone an extra mile really to accommodate the ANC. We will have our meeting under the tree,” he said.
The ANC had called on the IFP to cancel the meeting, said Mcetywa.
“They were able to cause havoc when they were 3km away and they now they are much closer,” she said.
She claimed ANC posters for the Nseleni rally had been torn down and that ANC supporters were being intimidated.
After the Nongoma incident, IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi and ANC president Jacob Zuma held talks on their members’ political intolerance, later issuing a statement condemning violence and intimidation ahead of the elections.—Sapa
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