ANC, IFP tensions erupt over no-go zone

2008-11-19 00:00

POLITICAL tensions between the ANC and IFP in the Makhabeleni area in ward six in Greytown have reached boiling point, with allegations that IFP councillors have declared it a “no-go” zone for the ANC.

The parties have gone head to head in the area in the past, and political intolerance has resulted in a number of deaths.

KwaZulu-Natal violence monitor Mary de Haas told The Witness that the area has been beset by political tensions for many years.

The proportional representation (PR) councillor for the ANC in the uMvoti Municipality, Jeffrey Ngobese, claims the conflict was revived when his party deployed him to the area to help the community get service delivery.

As is customary when a new person settles in the area, Ngobese said, he introduced himself to the inkosi and reported his deployment to the ward councillor. However, he said, things started to turn sour when he was invited to an ANC meeting in the ward on April 19. He said the area’s induna, Silwayiphi Shangase, who is the IFP’s PR councillor, does not want him there and has allegedly accused him on several occasions of being a “propagandist”.

“When the meeting was over, IFP members started shouting at us, saying they did not want an ANC member in the area. They insulted me and questioned my presence in the area. I was accused of being in cahoots with cattle thieves,” said Ngobese.

He said he took the accusations as a joke until he was summoned by Mchunu to the tribal authority in Muden where he was told that there were allegations that he had illegally entered Ward 6.

Ngobese said the IFP defamed and intimidated him during the voter registration weekend and he has since opened a case against them.

Police spokesman Superintendent Henry Budhram confirmed this.

Shangase said he did not know about the declaration of a no-go zone in Makhabeleni. He accused Ngobese of not having informed him as an induna and the ward councillor of his intention to campaign in the area.

He said he has been an induna for 20 years and that the ANC has never been prevented from doing anything for which it has received permission.

Shangase accused Ngobese of causing mayhem during the voter registration weekend by bringing in an additional party agent at a voter registration station.

thandom@witness.co.za

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