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Parties scrap in KwaZulu-Natal

There was a heavy police presence in KwaZulu-Natal’s Nseleni area on Sunday to prevent clashes between ANC and IFP supporters, who are holding events in the same area.

By 10am, no incidents of violence had been reported to the police, said Captain Jay Naicker.

”We have deployed many police officers in the area to make sure that there is peace. They have been deployed in both venues,” he said.

Sporadic reports about election-linked violence emerged on Saturday.

Violence was reported in northern Kwazulu-Natal — in the Nseleni area — between the Inkatha Freedom Party and African National Congress.

This came after the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Saturday granted an interdict preventing the IFP from holding a rally near the ANC’s rally in the area on Sunday.

On Saturday, the Inkatha Freedom Party’s national organiser Albert Mncwango said its councillor Simon Mhlongo’s house was shot at and petrol-bombed by ANC members.

”Our member’s house was attacked this afternoon by elements in the ANC in ANC T-shirts, waving ANC flags and driving in cars … with ANC paraphernalia.

”They threw petrol bombs.”

”Our members are being subjected to intimidation. ANC members are misconstruing the court order that IFP members must be evicted from Nseleni today so when tomorrow comes [there will be] no IFP”.

Mncwango said the IFP would submit ”comprehensive documents” to the Independent Electoral Commission on Monday in order to respond to ANC allegations about the party.

Meanwhile, ANC provincial secretary Senzo Mchunu said on Saturday that allegations that an IFP councillor had been petrol-bombed were false.

”Nobody has been petrol bombed. It’s a bomb of a lie.”

Mchuni said instead he had heard reports that four cars carrying ANC members busy with ”mobilisation”, had been attacked in the area.

”Some stones were thrown into their four cars. It was the fourth car that had been attacked, once it was realised it was being driven by an ANC comrade.”

He said the person in the car was an administrator at a regional office, who was not injured but had reported the incident to the police.

Mchunu said the ANC would definitely be reporting the matter to the IEC on Monday.

However, the IFP’S Mncwango dismissed the ANC allegations that cars carrying ANC personnel had been stoned in the area.

”They are talking rubbish. How would you identify an IFP car from an ANC car?,” he said.

Also on Saturday, the office of the provincial minister for Agriculture and Environmental Affairs, Mtholephi Mthimkhulu, said in a statement that IFP members had disrupted an event being held on Saturday at
Ntabamhlophe in Loskop.

The minister said Silibaziso Jiyane, the Mbabazana municipality’s speaker, had arrived with ”heavily-armed people wearing clothes branded with IFP logos and tried to force entry into the marquee where about 10 000 people were gathered”.

He said Jiyane and an IFP-branded motorcade had earlier tried to intimidate people trying to make their way to the event.

Mthimkhulu said the disruption of government business was ”tantamount to treason”.

”That KZN is led by the ANC government is a known fact but when government leaders, like Mthimkhulu — do their work, they do so without asking for membership cards of any political party. This is because, like everyone else, members of the IFP cannot cook their membership cards when they need food.”

The IFP’s Mncwango said that he had heard about the Loskop incident but that it was not IFP members who had been involved but members of the community.

”They invited the community of Loskop.”

He said at the event some ANC manifestos were allegedly being distributed and some people objected to this.

”It was a government function and therefore the minister must not propogate election manifestos”.

Kwazulu-Natal police spokesperson Senior Superintendent Jay Naicker confirmed there had been some incidents reported in Nseleni on Saturday.

”I can confirm there was some tension between the IFP and the ANC in Nseleni.”

He said a woman had opened an attempted murder case and one of malicious damage to property.

”The person alleges she was shot at and there is an allegation that a vehicle was stoned.” – Sapa

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