Political parties slam fire recovery plan

2008-09-03 00:00

The death toll from the weekend’s devastating winds and runaway fires, reached 32 yesterday, KZN Local Government, Housing and Traditional Affairs spokesman Lennox Mabaso said.

Mabaso said that the government are providing food, blankets and tents to the displaced people.

However, IFP chairwoman Zanele kaMagwaza Msibi accused Premier Sbu Ndebele of “neglecting” certain areas by declaring only Nkandla a disaster area.

“I am still shocked at the premier’s reaction following his visit to affected areas. I call on our premier to give this disaster the urgent attention it deserves without political discrimination so all the affected will benefit,” she said.

IFP MPL Henry Combrinck also accused the Local Government Department of not doing enough to help farmers affected by the fires.

In response to the allegations, Mabaso called for unity in dealing with the losses from the fires and storms.

Meanwhile, KZN Department of Agriculture and Environmental Affairs MEC Mtholephi Mthimkhulu dispelled allegations that the fires were arson linked to the land claims process.

He was responding to claims by KZN Agricultural Land Union (Kwanalu) president Robin Barnsley.

In a statement released earlier this week, Barnsley said that the fires could be linked to land claim issues.

“Frustration levels are boiling over and it is believed that fires could help to push people off their land,” he said.

Mthimkhulu said he did not believe that people would engage in criminal acts “just because they are unhappy with the pace of land claims”.

He lambasted the union, saying it should refrain from using statements that exacerbate tensions in rural areas.

KZN regional land claims commissioner Siduduzile Sosibo also refuted Kwanalu’s claims, but acknowledged the slow pace of land reform.

“[The allegation that] the fires were a direct result of the land claim disputes is unfounded, lacks verifiable evidence and is at worst inflammatory. Natural fires have been in existence since the creation of life … It is quite misleading to link natural causes with land claims that are under disputes,” she said.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.