Why is Nkandla a fortress?

2013-11-24 10:00

Violence has dropped in KZN, so why is Jacob Zuma freaking out about security?

Madam, I cannot see any connection between peace negotiations involving President Jacob Zuma and the IFP in the 1990s, and the need for fortifying his Nkandla home now (“The truth behind Nkandla’s whoppers”, City Press, November 17 2013).

Nor did I see any evidence of these peace negotiations filtering down to what was happening on the ground in the 1990s.

The political violence continued in different parts of the province following the 1994 elections, but the worst affected areas, where dozens lost their lives each year, were around Mandeni, Mtubatuba and the lower south coast.

It was a small team of detectives, led by former Goldstone investigator Mandla Vilakazi, that brought the worst of the north coast violence to an end.

The team soon made arrests and high court convictions followed. The key Mtubatuba warlord was assassinated after he had been released on bail (despite protest) for the fourth time.

Evidence from his accomplices at their trials confirmed that they had been acting in collusion with certain members of the local public-order policing unit.

The arrests and convictions allowed local ANC and IFP leaders in Mandeni to broker peace. Provincial police management consistently tried to stop Vilakazi’s investigations, even to the point of bringing malicious charges against him (which were thrown out of court).

The December 1995 Shobashobane massacre was the catalyst for a dramatic reduction in attacks in lower south coast areas.

The murders of three key warlords, and the spotlight on police conduct during a commission of inquiry, were key factors. The commission’s report has never seen the light of day and, according to one informed source, it was never written.

With the exception of Richmond (which is another story altogether), levels of violence in other areas continued to drop in the late 1990s.

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