NFP member’s killing sparks fear

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iol news 26 feb SA NT NFP Umlazi hostel riots pic INLSA A woman died following a dispute between members of the NFP and IFP at Umlazi T-Section on February 26, 2012. Photo: Sandile Ndlovu

uMlazi - Fears of another outbreak of violence at the volatile uMlazi’s T-Section have been sparked after the killing of a National Freedom Party (NFP) member at the weekend, in what the party believes was a politically motivated hit.

Police spokesman Captain Thulani Zwane said Mthunzi Gwala, 32, had been shot four times but the circumstances surrounding the killing were not known. No arrests had been made by Monday.

He stressed that the motive behind the killing had not been established.

But NFP provincial chairman, Vikizitha Mlotshwa, was adamant there was a political motive behind the killing.

“Some people still regard the area as a no-go area for other political parties but we urge our members to be calm and to let the police do their work,” he said.

In February this year violence erupted in the area between members of the NFP and the IFP, resulting in about 30 houses and three cars being set alight.

Themba Ngcobo, 51, was also shot and killed during the violence while Margaret Mthethwa, 59, died of a heart attack, reportedly after she watched a neighbour’s house being torched.

Mlotshwa said 20 NFP members had been killed in the province since the formation of the party early last year.

He said the NFP was committed to peace and would be willing to meet other political parties to prevent further killings.

A delegation from the NFP met provincial police commissioner, Mmamonnye Ngobeni, to discuss the killing of its members.

“The meeting was productive and we raised a number of issues and we are now getting updates regularly on the cases involving our members.”

Meanwhile police have arrested two people in connection with the murder of another NFP member, Mpipini Mncube, who was killed in Vryheid two weeks ago.

Community Safety and Liaison MEC Willies Mchunu congratulated police on the arrest, saying it showed they were determined to fight crime.

Mchunu also raised concerns about the growing number of killings in KZN which appeared to be politically motivated.

“Political differences cannot be resolved through violence. We appeal to people to embrace the culture of negotiations because it is the only solution,” Mchunu said.

But some of the killings of NFP leaders were believed to be linked to ongoing internal tensions within the party.

Recently three NFP councillors in uMsinga were arrested in connection with the murder of fellow councillor, Bongani Shelembe, and NFP regional leader, Lungisile Zuma.

They were killed in May while returning from a party in uMsinga.

A bodyguard of another NFP councillor was also arrested in connection with the murders. - Daily News

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