Peace in Greytown

2009-08-22 00:00

THE KwaZulu-Natal government has brokered a peace accord in Greytown following tensions between the ANC and IFP that resulted in the murders of three councillors, two from the IFP and one from the ANC, as well as three members of an ANC family.

A special task team led by former MEC Bheki Cele and MEC Willies Mchunu was appointed in June to meet the IFP-led Umvoti Municipality. The task team deployed police and the army, facilitated a peace meeting between IFP and ANC and ensured peaceful by-elections on August 12.

Yesterday, Mchunu, at his first media briefing as Transport, Community Safety and Liaison MEC, announced what he termed a “milestone” agreement, adding: “The local political leaders, ANC councillor Philani Mavundla and Umvoti mayor and IFP councillor Petros Ngubane, agreed … to work together to prevent any further loss of innocent lives.”

The rift between Mavundla and Ngubane, who told the media yesterday that they are related, had reached the courts. In July, Mavundla was granted an urgent interim interdict to stop Ngubane from making “untrue and defamatory” statements about him. Apparently Ngubane blamed him for being behind attacks on IFP councillors in the area.

IFP provincial deputy chairman Blessed Gwala also applauded the parties for achieving the peace agreement. “As leadership of the IFP, we are very pleased with the newly found spirit of co-operation … We commend the police for a sterling performance … I particularly want to thank Mavundla, Ngubane, James Mthethwa (ANC) and Sbu Nkwanyana (IFP) for their dedication in bringing peace to uMvoti. As a matter of principle, war talk shall cease.”

Nkwanyana and Mthethwa were co-chairs of the task team.

Mavundla and Ngubane shook hands as a sign of commitment to working together towards peace.

“We are committed to this agreement after we realise the embarrassment and pain we have caused our local people, the province and the country,” said Ngubane. “Because we are leaders in our area, we must take responsibility, I support the agreement,” said Mavundla.

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