Another IFP man gunned down in full view of bystanders

2012-10-16 00:00

POLITICAL violence in KwaZulu-Natal claimed another life yesterday when an IFP member was shot and killed in full view of the police and media outside the Ntuzuma Magistrate’s Court.

Siya Dlamini’s assailant was allegedly a National Freedom Party councillor in the eThekwini council.

The murder occured during a confrontation between IFP and NFP supporters outside the court after midday.

Ironically, Dlamini was killed after attending the appearance of four men arrested for allegedly shooting IFP member Cebisile Shezi (31) on October 6.

Dlamini’s is the latest in a spate of killings attributed to tensions between the IFP and NFP, particularly in kwaMashu.

Recently, IFP leader Bongani Lushaba was shot at Oshabeni, while party councillor Themba Xulu was found dead near Inanda after being kidnapped from the kwaMashu Hostel.

The son of an NFP leader and two other bosses from the breakaway party have also been killed in the area.

Police Colonel Jay Naicker said a suspect was arrested immediately after the shooting and a murder docket opened.

“A pistol believed to be used during the shooting was also recovered and will be sent for tests.”

Naicker said the suspect would appear in court soon on charges of murder and attempted murder.

Court officials and guards refused to talk in the wake of the shooting.

All court proceedings were cancelled and officials were seen leaving the premises, some accompanied by police.

Dlamini’s killing was widely condemned.

“One cannot fathom why, despite our clampdown on political killings in this province, we continue to have incidents like this,” provincial commissioner Lieutenant-General Mmamonnye Ngobeni said, vowing fearless and relentless investigations would follow.

The IFP’s Blessed Gwala took a swipe at the ANC. “The ANC must reign in its surrogate [NFP]. NFP leader Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi must call her party into order because it is out of control. These people are always on a murderous rage. This needs to stop,” he said.

A more conciliatory KaMagwaza-Msibi joined in the chorus of condemnation.

“We do not believe in violence. If there are problems, people must sit down and engage each other.”

She said the police should play their role and soldiers be sent in to clear the area of dangerous weapons.

“We don’t want to go back to black-on-black violence,” she said, offering condolences to Dlamini’s family.

The ANC’s Senzo Mkhize also appealed for tolerance: “We wish that political parties could sit down and discuss their differences. We appeal to parties not to resort to political violence, which crippled the province many years ago.”

Community Safety and Liaison MEC Willies Mchunu said the violence was “getting to ugly levels and something must be done to end these killings”.

“I have confidence that the police will do their best to resolve these cases,” he said.

Justice Department spokesperson Mthun­zi Mhaga said his department and Minister Jeff Radebe were concerned that yesterday’s incident would result in people fearing to approach courts.

“It is disturbing that such an incident has happened.

“The department and minister are concerned that people will fear approaching courts. Court buildings are not to be used for wrong intentions,” he said.

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