Calls for tolerance after violent skirmishes rock Umlazi

2012-02-27 00:00

THE Inkatha Freedom Party and the National Freedom Party have called for political tolerance after violent skirmishes reportedly broke out between their members at the T section of Umlazi in Durban on Saturday.

Two people were shot and wounded, one person was assaulted while another died of a suspected heart attack caused by the violence.

The skirmishes also led to the PSL soccer match between Golden Arrows and Black Leopards being abandoned.

Vusimuzi Vilakazi, the PRO for Golden Arrows, confirmed that the game was called off because the wind direction was blowing teargas towards the stadium.

The Black Leopards goalkeeper and two other players were affected.

“There was no danger of the groups coming to the stadium, it just the teargas being used was blowing towards the stadium.”

Police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said about 600 people gathered at the hostel and looted houses in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Two tuck shops were set alight and residents were robbed of their groceries and cash.

The windows and furniture in many of the houses were damaged.

He said the police were in the process of identifying the culprits.

The Sunday Independent reported yesterday that 59-year-old Cingiwe Margaret Mthethwa died due to a heart attack after seeing her neighbour’s house go up in flames following an attack by a marauding mob.

She collapsed in her bathroom and died shortly afterwards.

Professor Nhlanhla Khubisa of the NFP said his party was saddened by the events and called for political tolerance, saying the time for political violence had long passed.

“We do not want to go back to the situation of the 1980s of widespread political violence,” Khubisa said.

MPL Joshua Mazibuko, the IFP deputy national spokesperson, said his party was concerned about violent incidents in the province and remained committed to political tolerance and to multi-party democracy and to achieving lasting peace in KZN.

MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Willies Mchunu called on the parties to show maturity and political leadership.

“We strongly condemn this embarrassing action. It is unacceptable that people can opt for violence just because of political differences.

“Anyone who knows the history of this province between ANC and IFP would not resort to violence as a solution in resolving political differences.”

He said the only benefits of violence were graves, hatred and a destabilised community.

• thamsanqam@witness.co.za

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