KwaXimba rocked by violent politicking

2010-12-15 00:00

THE formerly peaceful community of KwaXimba outside Camperdown is divided and tense after a local dispute over the nomination of councillors turned violent on Monday.

This ANC-dominated community is fighting over who should be nominated to represent the ANC in Ward 1 of the eThekwini Municipality in next year’s local government elections.

The KwaXimba community was one of the first rural areas to be incorporated under the eThekwini Municipality when local governments were first introduced in 1996. Two prospective ANC candidates, Musa Mkhize from the Bhobhonono area and Mbongi Hlongwa from the Ntukusweni area, are at the centre of this conflict.

In an incident supposedly linked to the dispute, a car belonging to the local councillor, Susimpi Ngubane, was stoned and his windscreen smashed on Monday as residents who support Mkhize staged a protest march to “remove” the current councillor. They accused Ngubane of supporting Hlongwa.

Police had to use teargas to disperse the marchers, who also threw stones at a police vehicle.

In an earlier incident on Saturday, police also had to use teargas as well as water cannons to separate two ANC factions linked to the two candidates who clashed during the branch general meeting held at Inkosi Msinga Indoor Sports Arena.

The meeting had to be cancelled as the result of the violence.

Ngubane confirmed the attack on his car and confirmed that he has opened the case with the local police.

The attack on councillor Ngubane underlined the urgency of a proposal from the eThekwini Municipality for their 200 councillors to be provided with security guards during the nomination period “as threats to the councillors’ lives are mounting at these times”.

When The Witness visited the area yesterday, the situation was still tense and most residents were reluctant to speak to journalists. Those who agreed to an interview asked to remain anonymous.

They explained they do not support Hlongwa “because he is supported by the outgoing councillor and we believe he would be a puppet should he get nominated to contest the position”.

A resident from the Ntukusweni area accused certain ANC branch leaders and the people of Bhobhonono of attempting to force a candidate of their choice on the community of ward one instead of allowing a democratic nomination process to take place.

Captain Thulani Zwane confirmed the incidents and said cases of public violence, malicious damage to property, pointing of a firearm and attempted murder are being investigated by police.

Zwane confirmed that all the cases being investigated are linked to both incidents and said no arrests had made so far as investigations are continuing.

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