MEC leads prayers for peace ahead of by-election in troubled Oshabeni

2012-11-05 00:00

KWAZULU-Natal MEC for Social Development Weziwe Thusi yesterday condemned the senseless killing and abuse of elderly people on the South Coast, and prayed for peace leading up to the by-election in Oshabeni this week.

About 5 000 community members, led by elected officials, gathered in a massive tent at VusuShaba stadium for a prayer day.

They prayed aloud and danced, asking for peace, political stability, the protection of the elderly and an end to rape.

The massive crowd also prayed for peace ahead of Wednesday’s Ward 4 by-election at Oshabeni. The vacancy arose with the death of councillor Ntombenhle Gcabashe after an illness.

Campaigning for the position within the ANC has led to bloodshed, and recently branch chairperson Dumisani Malunga and secretary Bheko Chiliza were gunned down.

Thusi and Ugu political leaders led a crowd of girls to the stadium raising placards that read: “The abuse of senior women and men must end. The rape of young girls must stop. The criminals must be arrested.”

Thusi said November had been set aside by the provincial government to focus on the abuse of women and children.

She said the event was not designed to score political mileage. Rather, it was a call to pray together for peace.

“Zuma has had stones thrown at him, but he stands because he knows God. Yes, we have to pray for a peaceful by-election here in Oshabeni and for our upcoming ANC national and elective conference in Mangaung on December 16,” said Thusi.

Inkosi Ziwengu Lushaba said he hoped the next ward councillor would work well with the tribal council on issues of development and service delivery.

“I hope that the councillor that you are canvassing for will indeed work well with my council, because this prayer day is for canvassing votes for you and we do not want a councillor who does not work with our council,” said Lushaba.

Hibiscus Coast Mayor Cynthia Mqwebu also called for the end of abuse, particularly the elderly.

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