IFP violence feared

2010-11-12 00:00

FEARS of violent clashes between party supporters at today’s IFP versus IFP case in the high court in Pietermaritzburg have prompted the police to mobilise public safety procedures.

The court case involves national chairperson Zanele Magwaza-Msibi and the leadership of the Inkatha Freedom Party.

Police spokesperson Joey Jeevan said the SA Police Force will try to ensure that “normal activities proceed unhindered outside the immediate vicinity of the Pietermaritzburg high court and urge the public to support the measures”.

A police helicopter is expected to monitor the situation.

Last week Magwaza-Msibi took the IFP to court seeking, among other things, a court order forcing the party to refrain from taking disciplinary action against her and for it to hold an elective conference.

Acting-Judge Philip Nkosi consolidated Magwaza-Msibi’s case with another, launched by IFP veteran Wiseman Mcoyi as well as two other members challenging their expulsion from the party as well as the legitimacy of the current IFP leadership.

The legal challenge is on the grounds that their current term of office expired more than a year ago and that the party has repeatedly postponed its elective conference, which was to have taken place in July last year.

Thousands of Magwaza-Msibi supporters and those siding with the current IFP leadership are expected to converge at the city today.

According to unconfirmed newspaper reports, the IFP has spent about R350 000 to hire buses to ferry supporters from different parts of the province.

Staunch Magwaza-Msibi supporter Mzonjani Zulu appealed to the national and provincial police commissioners, General Bheki Cele and Mammonye Ngobeni, to tighten up security, saying he fears there will be violent confrontations between Magwaza-Msibi supporters and those of the current IFP leadership.

IFP national organiser Albert Mncwango told The Witness that thousands of IFP supporters from across the country will converge on the city tomorrow.

He said the party supporters are angry following the burning of IFP T-shirts two weeks ago during a meeting called by expelled IFP leader and former uMtshezi mayor Maliyakhe Shelembe in the Mabhanoyini area in Estcourt, and again during last week’s Magwaza-Msibi case at the high court in the city.

“People want to defend the party against anyone who will dare burn the IFP T-shirt tomorrow [today] during the court case,” Mncwango said.

NOTE

Road closures around the High Court: Old Market Street (behind the Bessie Head library), Longmarket and Otto Streets intersection, Church and Otto Streets intersection Church Street above Boshoff Street.

 

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