Ruling party factionalism root of violence

2016-04-28 06:00

THE Democratic Alliance in Ugu South, is shocked and alarmed by the upsurge in rioting and violence in the Port Edward area. The rioters, allegedly ANC members, are dissatisfied with the winner of the ANC candidate election process. The local ANC branch is divided into two opposing factions; one allegedly linked to Zinhle Zikalala, the other allegedly linked to Senzo Mchunu. ANC provincial divisions are playing out violently within the deeply divided ANC Lower South Coast Region.

The rioting and violence started at around 4am on 25 April 2016 with the blockade of the R61 with burning tyres and passing vehicles pelted with stones. The R61 is the primary road linking Bizana to Hibiscus Coast. The violence resulted in the closure of the R61 for around 3 hours. There were massive disruptions in the area; schools, clinics and crèches were closed, local bus and taxi services stopped, workers were intimidated and prevented from going to work and disruption of municipal services. These disruption were not only confined to Kwa-Zulu Natal, the Eastern Cape was also affected as teachers, nurses and other public servants working in Bizana could not get to work. It also prevented trucks transporting food and goods into Bizana.

The DA commends the police members at SAPS Port Edward police station for dispersing the protesters and reopening the R61. However, the atmosphere is still tense and the police are on high alert ready to mobilise with high manpower. The police have already arrested 19 people.

The people of Port Edward, Lashoda and KwaNzimakwe are tired of the disruptions caused by the ANC as ‘comrades’ fight amongst themselves. This continuous violence and disruptions massively impedes communities freedom and access to education and employment opportunities. The residents of Port Edward area and Hibiscus Coast in general are frustrated with this status quo. We call on the ANC regional leadership to call their members to order and provide leadership to stop the violence.

The Democratic Alliance believes that internal party infighting is unacceptable. Destroying peoples opportunities and municipal services for self-serving interests is a travesty.

Cllr. Samkelo Ndwalane

Constituency Chairperson Ugu South

These disruption were not only confined to Kwa-Zulu Natal, the Eastern Cape was also affected as teachers, nurses and other public servants working in Bizana could not get to work.

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