Calls for calm at Elias Dube funeral

2011-04-25 00:00

HIGH levels of intimidation and a lack of political tolerance is gripping the rural community of KwaNyavu area in Cato Ridge near Pietermaritzburg, ahead of the local government elections following the assassination of NFP leader Elias Linduyise Dube (54), who was buried in the area yesterday.

Dube, an NFP election candidate for ward two under the Mkhambathini municipality, was gunned down at his home at KwaNyavu last week, less than five hours after signing the Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC) electoral code of conduct.

Delivering a speech at his funeral service held at KwaNyavu Community Hall local Inkosi Sikhosiphi Mdluli, an IFP activist who described himself as Dube’s confidant, confirmed that there is intimidation and lack of political tolerance, which kept some people away from the funeral.

Although the kwaNyavu area is a well-known IFP stronghold, many people, including Dube who was a strong IFP leader, turned to the NFP early this year.

Inkosi Mdluli appealed to the local people to be calm and stop pointing fingers at the alleged Dube’s murderers as this will create division within his tribe. He said people were jumping to the conclusion that Dube was killed because he defected from the IFP to the NFP, “whereas he had so many enemies within the taxi industry and within the community”.

Mdluli then shocked mourners by alleging that Dube was part of a group that once plotted to have him assassinated, a group he said that also included some of his own relatives.

“At the time of his death I had reconciled with Dube after confronting him about the plot and we were friends again when he died. I appeal to kwaNyavu people not to speculate on Dube’s death. Some people are gripped by fear and others did not even come to the funeral for fear of being associated with a political party,” Mdluli said.

Other speakers were quick to point out that they were not politically affiliated, when they were speaking about Dube as a local leader and businessman.

A visibly angry NFP national working committee member Layidliva Mbuthuma, who spoke on behalf of party leader Zanele Magwaza-Msibi, appealed to police to arrest on the murder case “as some people are now revealing themselves as Dube’s killers”.

“As the NFP we will never rest if the police don’t arrest the killers as they are revealing themselves now. I appeal to NFP members not to commit revenge as we believe that police are there to do their work,” Mbuthuma said.

Mbuthuma urged locals to vote for Dube, as his name will remain on the ballot despite his death. Should he win the election, the IEC will have to call for a by-election within 90 days.

Dube left behind his children, three wives and a fiancée. During the funeral yesterday all of them sat next to his casket wrapped in blankets as tradition requires.


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