Political tension brewing in Muden

2015-03-14 00:00

THE threat of political violence is hanging over the Muden area in the midst of the violent protests that have ground the area to a halt.

Protesters blocking the R74 ­between Muden and Greytown were allegedly attacked on Thursday. The Zibambeleni Community Organisation, a community development ­organisation that works with informal settlements’ associations, local ­development and land rights organisations, released a statement on behalf of the protesters claiming the attack was carried out by heavily armed taxi operators and IFP members.

IFP councillor Bhojabhoja ­Dlamini, however, disputed the statement and warned that political ­finger-pointing is dangerous and could inflame tensions in the area.

Mnqobi Ngubane of Zibambeleni said, “The concern of the IFP and taxi-boss alliances is the fact that they use the R74 for taxi-business services. They are prepared to go to extremes to prevent further protests and ­blocking of the R74.”

He said local taxi operators were angry with the protest that has closed the road for the past three weeks and had made death threats.

“The IFP local branches have been echoing these sentiments … Protestors now fear for their lives,” he said.

There were taxi operators, ­Ngubane said, who are members of the ANC and were in full support of the protest.

Dlamini called for restraint and said finger-pointing could spark a ­political feud.

The area is politically divided. The north side of the road blockade ­largely contains ANC supporters and the south side, IFP. There have also been signs that the community is turning on each other.

Earlier this month, residents from the south blocked a road to a pension pay point in retaliation.

“What happened is that the ­Muden operators going to Greytown via Keates Drift were ordered by the Keates Drift operators to stop using that route. There were allegations that they ‘stole’ passengers,” Dlamini said.

“The operators and the community found themselves stranded and turned their focus into reopening the road.

“The community, with the taxi ­operators, went up and closed the trenches in the morning. In the ­afternoon, the trenches had been dug up again. It was not IFP members, but the community.”

Greytown Mayor Thamsanqa Ngubane said he was not aware of the alleged confrontation as he was away yesterday.

“The situation is not political. If there are any political tensions, they would be a result of opportunists ­taking a chance,” he said.

The police said the alleged attack was not reported to them.

Attempts to get comment from the department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) were unsuccessful.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.