Concern over IFP, NFP bad blood

2016-07-08 12:09
Mangosuthu Buthelezi (File, Die Burger)

Mangosuthu Buthelezi (File, Die Burger)

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Pietermaritzburg - The war of words between the NFP and IFP is a cause for concern and should be stopped before it leads to bloodshed.

Political analyst and Mzala Nxumalo Centre CEO Bheki Mngomezulu has raised this concern following news that the two parties are at each others’ throats after some NFP members, who now can’t take part in the elections, blamed the IFP for their party’s demise.

IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi has since denied the allegations.

Buthelezi, who said his supporters had been attacked by NFP supporters, warned that IFP supporters would “defend themselves” and expressed fears there might be violence in the province.

Mngomezulu said the threats between the two parties were increasing dangerously.

“There has always been bad blood between the two political parties. We all know that IFP supporters were not happy to see the NFP doing so well in elections after it had defected from them.

“Also the NFP’s decision to co-govern about 19 hung municipalities in the province with the ANC after the 2011 government elections, angered IFP supporters,” he said.

Mngomezulu said it was not “puzzling” that the IFP would be “accused” for the NFP’s woes.

“Although the NFP did this to themselves without any help from the IFP, IFP supporters are rejoicing over this,” he said.

Mngomezulu said leaders from both sides should tread carefully as matters have threatened to get ugly on the ground.

“The worrying factor is that both these parties are from KZN. Although they are national parties, their strongholds are in KZN.

“We all know the history of KZN and political violence. Once tempers flare, it leads to bloodshed. I am sure none of these parties want to go there,” he said.

Mngomezulu also challenged leaders from both sides to denounce violence.

“They need to tell their supporters that violence will not help anyone. They should condemn violence in the strongest possible terms,” he said.

• sabelo.nsele@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  ifp  |  nfp

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