Durban - Monday’s shooting of an IFP member in front of police and media has fuelled tension at KwaMashu hostel with leaders from the National Freedom Party and the IFP asking for stringent security measures to be put in place.
Siya Dlamini was shot dead after a confrontation between IFP and NFP supporters outside the Ntuzuma Magistrate’s court.
NFP councillor Mzonjani Zulu was arrested for shooting Dlamini.
Dlamini and other IFP supporters had been trying to attend the appearance of four NFP supporters who were arrested for allegedly shooting IFP councillor Cebisile Shezi on October 6.
Political analyst Protas Madlala said the killing Monday indicated that the perpetrators of violence had little regard for the criminal justice system and that it was time for tougher measures.
“This man was not killed just anywhere, he was shot and killed within court premises where police were present.
“Also a week ago an IFP supporter was killed on the same day that the minister of police had visited the area. That shows that people no longer respect the police”.
And for this reason, Madlala says it’s time for the army to step in. “Police have lost control of the situation. Let the army come in, let them conduct roadblocks and raids so that the safety of the people of KwaMashu is guaranteed… I really do not see how the police could not have anticipated that tensions would be high at that court appearance, people should have been searched.”
NFP leader Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi concurred, saying the army was needed to bring stability to the area. She said that the deployment of extra police seems to have done little to bring calm to the area.
“We believe there are arms caches in that hostel and the army needs to be brought in to retrieve these. The situation needs to be contained before it spills over to other hostels and neighbouring townships.”
But the IFP rejected the idea of bringing in the army, saying police can still contain the situation. “We need peace officers, not the army, because the army will just come in to shoot.
“What is needed is for the police to disarm these people,” said Blessed Gwala, the leader of the IFP in the legislature.
Gwala also blamed NFP members, saying they had become loose cannons. “These people [NFP supporters] are always on a murderous rage. This needs to stop,” Gwala said, adding that KaMagwaza-Msibi had failed to control her supporters.
KaMagwaza-Msibi hit back, saying Gwala’s comments were fuelling tension. “As leaders we should not speak carelessly.”
While KaMagwaza-Msibi condemned the killing of the IFP supporter, she said details were still not clear as to what could have prompted the NFP councillor to kill.
“Preliminary information suggests that he [the NFP councillor] was allegedly attacked by spear-wielding IFP supporters and he acted in self-defence. But we do not condone any type of violence.”
The growing number of political killings has caught the attention of King Goodwill Zwelithini, who said Monday that he would convene a meeting with political parties and taxi owners as part of efforts for reconciliation and peace.
In a statement issued by the King Goodwill Zwelithini Foundation, the king issued a stern warning, saying that if KZN was destabilised, it could have a negative impact on the whole country.
The king said the province could not afford to slide back to the violence experienced in the 1980s and 1990s.
Community Safety MEC, Willies Mchunu, also expressed concerns at the killings in KwaMashu, saying that the situation had reached unacceptable levels. He appealed for calm, saying that only dialogue would put an end to violence.
But the IFP has expressed unwillingness to talk to the NFP while those responsible for the killing of its members were not apprehended. “What can we possibly talk about?” Gwala asked.
Mchunu, however, said he was happy with the work of the police in the hostel. He said there had been early arrests in most of the cases involving political killings. - Daily News