ANC and IFP clash over hall

2010-05-25 00:00

THE IFP and the ANC members in the Vulindlela area of Mbubu are at loggerheads ahead of the by-election taking place there tomorrow.

Matters between the two old political rivals came to a head on Saturday when IFP members tried to force their way into a hall where the ANC was holding a meeting.

Both parties have pointed fingers at each other over the incident.

The by-election will be held following the death of the ward four councillor, an ANC member.

The area is a known for being an IFP stronghold.

According to the IFP’s candidate in the by-election and the chairperson of the party in the area, Thulani Khumalo, the ANC is to blame for the tensions.

Khumalo said the IFP had booked the hall with the area induna, Hezekia Thusi, to conduct its meeting on the by-election on Saturday from 1 pm.

“On Friday the ANC went around with loudhailers announcing that they will hold a meeting in the same hall on Saturday,” said Khumalo.

The ANC indeed held its meeting in the hall from 11 am, but the IFP claims that it did not book the venue with the induna.

When the clock struck 1 pm, the ANC had not wrapped up its meeting, said Khumalo, sparking an outcry from IFP members who demanded that ANC vacate the hall.

“They told us that they were waiting for [KZN Premier Zweli Mkhize] to address them. A few hours later [Speaker of the KZN legislature] Peggy Nkonyeni arrived at the hall. They were locked in the meeting well until after 3 pm,” said Khumalo.

Angered by the turn of events, IFP members demanded to start their meeting but were stopped by police who were stationed at the hall to monitor the proceedings.

“I was in front when I was pepper-sprayed in my mouth by a police officer. I had to drink milk to douse the spray,” Khumalo said.

The ANC secretary in the Moses Mabhida region, Supa Zuma, confirmed that Nkonyeni attended the meeting.

Zuma said the behaviour of the IFP on the day was that of a political group that knew it was going to lose the by-election.

He said the ANC started announcing the meeting on loudhailers on Wednesday last week, but the IFP decided to gatecrash the meeting.

“They [IFP] tried to disrupt our meeting, saying that the ANC will never hold a meeting in the area,” said Zuma.

He said arrangements were made with the induna for the ANC to use the hall, but the induna had been intimidated by the IFP.

Thusi said he had received a booking to use the hall only from the IFP.




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