IFP posters ripped down

2011-04-07 00:00

THE IFP opened a case of theft and malicious damage to property against members of its rival party, the National Freedom Party (NFP), in two towns of northern KwaZulu-Natal on Tuesday and yesterday.

This is after young men, who are believed to be NFP supporters, were caught red-handed on camera damaging the IFP’s local government election campaign posters in KwaNongoma, northern KwaZulu-Natal yesterday morning.

The party also alleges that its Paulpietersburg office was broken into and its chairs and a computer were stolen on Tuesday. They also linked this crime to the NFP.

The NFP is led by former IFP national chairperson Zanele Magwaza-Msibi.

IFP national organisers Albert Mncwango issued a media statement saying that the NFP has been threatened by the IFP’s strong campaign for election and resorted to underhand tactics.

“Following the IFP’s successful manifesto launch, it is clear for all to see that the IFP is reunited, rejuvenated, refocused and ready for a strong showing in the 2011 elections.

“This has caused widespread panic within the ranks of the NFP. Out of pure desperation, they have resorted to breaking the law in the hope of destabilising the IFP,” said Mncwango.

The photos show two men taking down a poster from an electricity pole. One of the men, who was on top of an aluminium ladder, is seen wearing an orange cap with the NFP logo.

“This was not the first incident of people damaging our posters, which is why we assigned our members to guard our posters. This morning at about 7 am or 8 am, our members were patrolling with cameras when they saw these people removing posters,” said Mncwango.

He said the stolen computer contained vital IFP information, which includes party membership in Paulpietersburg.

“These common thugs were caught in the act and we have provided the evidence to the police. It is our hope that these matters will be dealt with swiftly so that those responsible can be brought to book. In addition, we ask the IEC to take note of these incidents, for the IEC carries the responsibility of ensuring free and fair elections.

“Obviously that cannot be achieved in an atmosphere of intimidation and confrontation,” Mncwango said.

Magwaza-Msibi distanced her party members from criminal elements.

“What a coincidence that these IFP people had a camera while our members were removing IFP posters.

“Anyone can wear our cap and commit a crime,” said Magwaza-Msibi.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Phindile Radebe confirmed that the IFP opened the theft and malicious damage to property cases in both towns.

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