IFP: ‘Prove deaths were political’

2012-05-03 00:00

THE INKATHA Freedom Party is calling on the National Freedom Party to provide conclusive evidence that the killings of its two members in Msinga are politically motivated.

“The IFP is also urging the NFP to refrain from perpetuating violence based on false findings,” said IFP member of parliament Blessed Gwala in a statement yesterday.

“It is very unfair of the NFP to believe that any of its members who happened to be killed would automatically become victims of political assassination.”

His statement follows the ambush and killing of the NFP’s Msinga constituency chairperson, Bongani Shelembe, and Zamo Zondi, a party member, by unknown men on Tuesday while returning from a meeting.

Another party member, Thulephi Mbatha, was injured and hospitalised.

An AK47 assault rifle cartridge was found at the scene.

Shelembe’s daughter, Sthembile, told The Witness her family was waiting for the police investigation to be completed.

She said the hospitalised Mbatha might have information about how the incident unfolded.

The NFP’s national chairperson, Maliyakhe Shelembe, said the party was not pointing fingers at anyone, but the investigation should focus on politics and general crime, even inside the party.

UKZN political science lecturer Sanele Nene said the fact that an assault weapon was used and that the victims were returning from a meeting seemed to suggest that the killings were politically motivated.

“But in the absence of information, it is difficult to say whether this is a continuation of tensions between the NFP and IFP in the province or infighting within the NFP,” said Nene.

KwaZulu-Natal Transport, Community Safety and Liaison MEC Willies Mchunu expressed concern over the incident.

He said the killing of public representatives created unnecessary instability and that the police would leave no stone unturned in their investigation.

“It is unacceptable that 18 years into democracy we are still experiencing incidents of political intolerance in the province of KwaZulu Natal.

“We urge the community of Msinga to work with the police in finding perpetrators,” said Mchunu.

• mlondi.radebe@witness.co.za

msinga ambush:Avoid ‘false findings’ over NFP killings, urges

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