KwaMashu clashes not going to stop NFP’s campaign

2012-11-27 00:00

EIGHT people were arrested on Sunday following violent scenes in KwaMashu’s volatile A-Section.

NFP leader Zanele Magwaza-Msibi welcomed the arrests. However, she said: “People get arrested for killing our members all the time, but there has not been one conviction”.

Magwaza-Msibi was trapped inside the Bhekuzulu Hall near the KwaMashu hostel, which was allegedly barricaded by IFP supporters.

Sunday’s clash happened as she was canvassing for votes in A-Section ahead of next Wednesday’s by-election.

A shaken Magwaza-Msibi said the incident would not stop her campaigning for her party.

She also believed that the multi-party peacekeeping committee set up to promote dialogue between parties was not working.

“They [the provincial government] are trying their best to ensure that parties sit down.

“But, violence is carrying on, and it is not yielding results. The problem is with the parties,” she said

Magwaza-Msibi added that she hoped that the IFP would not pay its lawyers to ensure that those arrested for Sunday’s incident were bailed out.

The suspects, aged between 22 and 49, will face charges of public violence and malicious damage to property, said police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane. They were expected to appear in the Ntuzuma Magistrate’s Court soon.

Zwane told The Witness that police stayed on the scene yesterday and there were no more incidents.

He said the task team directed to investigate political violence in the province was also there.

DA provincial leader Sizwe Mchunu also felt the multi-party committee was not bearing fruit, and called for it to be reassessed.

IFP leader Blessed Gwala condemned the violence, laying blame on the “poor handling of the peace structures”.

“The KwaZulu-Natal provincial multi-party committee has established 10-a-side as well as three-a-side comittees in eThekwini to deal with violence that has ravaged the KwaMashu hostels but the terms of reference are not clear,” said Gwala.

Safety and Security MEC Willies Mchunu urged parties to return to the multi-party committees to continue their dialogue.

Provincial chief electoral officer Mawethu Mosery said to ensure the voting went ahead smoothly next Wednesday they would be facilitating a dialogue between political parties.

Mosery said that they were also concerned about campaigning, and hoped police would be out in full force from now up until voting next week.

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