Mayor to visit violence-hit Umlazi

2012-02-28 12:30
Durban - Ethekwini Municipality mayor James Nxumalo was expected to pay a visit on Tuesday to the T-section of Umlazi, where violence erupted between IFP and NFP members at the weekend.

"I am going there to call for calm, to see the extent of the damage and to try to assist people who have been affected by violence," he said.

Two people died in the violence: Nicholas Ngcobo was shot dead and Margaret Mthethwa had a heart attack when she saw her neighbour's house torched. It was reported that about 10 cars and houses were damaged.


Seventeen men were expected to appear in the Umlazi Magistrate's Court on Tuesday morning for public violence.

Nxumalo said the municipality would approach the department of housing to see if houses could be organised for people who had lost their homes.

Political leaders, including National Freedom Party leader Zanele Magwaza-Msibi, Inkatha Freedom Party president Mangosuthu Buthelezi and African National Congress provincial chairperson Dr Zweli Mkhize condemned the violence. Buthelezi and kaMagwaza-Msibi visited the area.

The Mercury newspaper reported on Tuesday that the violence started a fortnight ago after NFP supporter Thandeka Cele was assaulted by a man for wearing trousers.


When the man was arrested, his friends organised a march in protest, which sparked violence between IFP and NFP supporters.

The T-section is known as an IFP stronghold.

Colonel Jay Naicker said police initially arrested seven people and seized two firearms which would be sent for ballistics tests.

"At this stage, these men will be charged with public violence and more charges could be added as the investigation continues," he said.

More arrests were expected as people came forward with the names of people they alleged had been involved in the violence.

"Members of the public order policing unit, tactical response team and national intervention unit have been deployed at the hostel to assist local police," said Naicker.

The situation in the area remained "relatively calm".

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