IFP insist their man is dead

2011-05-19 00:00

IFP national organiser Albert Mncwango insisted yesterday that an IFP candidate had died after a beating earlier in the week, despite denials by several police spokespersons.

Mncwango said voters would vote for Musawenkosi Godfrey Mahlobo in big numbers in sympathy with his “murder”.

“If he wins, after the election we will have by-elections,” he said.

Police said Mahlobo was “very much alive” and was transferred from Mantobela Hospital, where he was admitted after the assault, to Chief Albert Luthuli Hospital in Durban and later to the Osindisweni disctrict hospital near Verulam.

Both Lieutenant-Colonel Vincent Mndunge and Brigadier Phindile Radebe denied Mncwango’s claims.

“We have heard that the victim died and he had his eyes gouged, but the claims are false. He is alive and was transferred to Chief Albert Luthuli Hospital then to Osindisweni,” said Radebe.

Mncwango responded: “He is not alive. He is dead, I got this when I was talking to a members of his family this morning. If Radebe denied this she is out of her mind. You can phone Ndwedwe police station to confirm this.”

But at Ndwedwe, a police officer who declined to be named said, “He is in ICU”.

Mncwango promised to provide The Witness with contact details for Mahlobo’s family, but did not do so. Mncwango said the attack on Mahlobo on Tuesday afternoon followed many previous attacks on IFP leaders across KwaZulu-Natal. “Since last year we have buried five IFP councillors and Mahlobo is the sixth one to be killed.

“In addition there are a number of other IFP councillors who have sustained serious injuries as a result of being attacked.

“Mr Majola, a councillor in Estcourt, is now wheelchair bound.

“The IFP is urging the law enforcement agencies to investigate Mahlobo’s death and work to prevent similar attacks and ensure that today’s elections are free of intimidation and violence.”

Elsewhere, there were incidents of serious intimidation that led to arrests in Zululand. IFP and NFP candidates and an IFP party agent in the Mhlahlane area near Nkonjeni under the Ulundi municipality were arrested for alleged assault and intimidation of voters and IEC officials in the area.

The IFP candidate is out on bail after being allegedly involved in another intimidation incident against IEC officials during special voting on Monday.

KZN for Social Development MEC Meshack Radebe was instrumental in the arrest of the IFP candidate in the Nkonjeni area.

During a media briefing outside the Thengisangaye Primary School voting station police commission General Bheki Cele, accompanied by provincial commissioner Lieutenant-General Mammonye Ngobeni and national and provincial police spokespersons, Major-General Nonkululeko Mbatha and Brigadier Phindile Radebe, confirmed some of the arrests.

Cele said about 188 arrests had made since the start of the election campaign before election day.

In KwaMashu in Durban an IFP candidate was arrested for allegedly hiring assassins to murder a candidate belonging to a rival political organisation.

Cele said five people were arrested together with the candidate in connection with the case. In most voting stations in the Zululand district, no serious incidents were reported.

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