Xhosa attack ‘far more sinister’

2009-09-29 00:00

SECURITY has been increased in Durban’s Kennedy Road settlement after two men were murdered in a mob attack linked to tensions between Zulu and Xhosa shack dwellers.

Mthokozisi Ndlovu and Ndumiso Mnguni were killed when a mob told all Xhosas to leave the settlement. Chaos broke out just after 7 pm on Sunday night when the mob ran through the settlement looking for Xhosa residents.

During the riot, the mob da­maged 15 houses that belonged to Xhosa residents and stabbed the two men to death.

Police had to use rubber bullets to control the crowd. Eight suspects were arrested and police are searching for more.

Police spokeswoman Director Phindile Radebe said no incidents of violence were repor­ted yesterday, but police have stepped up patrols around the settlement.

A large contingent of police has also been deployed to monitor residents in the settlement.

The Abahlali baseMjondolo (Shack Dwellers) Movement president S’bu Zikode said tri­bal fighting surfaced earlier this year, but was dealt with by a special task team that had been set up.

Zikode attributes Sunday’s incident to interference from local politicians who want to “invade the settlement”.

“The reality is that political incitement has played a large role in the riots. The local ward councillor and other politicians want to take the settlement away from the Kennedy Road development committee.”

He said this ploy was to create division to undermine the leadership of Abahlali baseMjondolo so that other political parties could move in.

“Yes, tribal fighting did play a role in the mob attack, but there is something more sinister at work here,” he said.

He said that residents, who are being housed in a local community hall, now fear for the lives.

“I want to assure all shack dwellers that their safety is our priority. We will do our best to ensure that order is restored at the settlement.

Zikode’s house was also looted and then destroyed by members of the mob. He claims that police did not stop the mob while they were looting his shack.

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