ANC invades IFP stronghold

2011-04-30 15:00

A massive ANC election convoy has successfully campaigned in the IFP citadel of Nkonjeni, home to IFP president Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

However, the ANC motorcade only passed by Buthelezi’s KwaPhindangene home, where several hundred IFP members have gathered outside the gates.

The IFP contingent said they had gathered to “defend’’ Buthelezi’s home from a threatened invasion by the ANC Youth League (ANCYL), which two weeks ago was blocked from campaigning in the area by IFP loyalists.

This time around the ANC expedition was run by its provincial leadership, who took a route which allowed them to campaign in Buthelezi’s ward without posing any perceived threat to the IFP leader, who was away campaigning in the Bergville area in the Drakensberg.

The ANC contingent focused on distributing party election t-shirts and pamphlets before leaving Nkonjeni to pass through Ulundi before dispersing.

The IFP Youth Brigade’s president Mkhuleko Hlengwa said they had gathered because of a threat by the ANCYL leadership to campaign in Buthelezi’s home after being stopped from doing so by the IFP two weeks ago.

Hlengwa said the IFP would not obstruct the ANC convoy from campaigning in the area, but would “stand shoulder to shoulder’’ to prevent them from entering Buthelezi’s private home.

Buthelezi is not at KwaPhindangene today as he is busy with IFP election campaign work at Bergville in the Okahlamba District Municipality.

“We are not here to obstruct anyone’s campaign. We are here to ensure that our leader’s private home is protected. They are welcome to campaign throughout Zululand and anywhere else.

“We will not allow them to enter our president’s private home. When we campaign in Nkandla, where President Jacob Zuma lives in an IFP ward and under and IFP mayor, we do not harass him or his family. We expect our president to be shown the same respect,” Hlengwa said.

Buthelezi’s supporters, some of whom were carrying shields and sticks, spent most of the day toyi-toying in the road, but the leaders made sure that they did not disrupt traffic.

The ANC convoy, which consisted of over 200 vehicles, was accompanied by a massive police contingent.

A separate police contingent monitored and contained the IFP group, with a police helicopter hovering overhead all day to prevent any clashes.

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