Albert Mncwango. Picture COURTNEY AFRICA

Durban -

The IFP has accused police officers deployed at the politically unstable KwaMashu hostel of fuelling violence.

This comes after IFP member Mfihleni Mahiye was shot dead early on Friday.

According to the IFP, Mahiye was shot dead while sleeping by policemen who had broken down his door.

“He died in a hail of bullets. His girlfriend miraculously escaped,” said Albert Mncwango, the party’s deputy national chairman.

He added the police in KwaMashu had become a law unto themselves and there was very little difference between ordinary thugs and the police officers deployed at the hostel.

“But more importantly, this vindicates our belief that the police have been fuelling violence in KwaMashu under the guise of it being political violence. It also confirms our belief that the SAPS itself is to blame for the violence that has reared its ugly head in KwaMashu.”

Mncwango said there were also still several questions about the unresolved murder of former IFP councillor Themba Xulu, who was abducted in October 2012 by men posing as officers from Pinetown police station.

The IFP said it wanted to see Mahiye’s killers arrested, and called on the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) to launch an investigation into the killing.

Police spokesman Colonel Jay Naicker said the matter had been reported to Ipid and referred questions to the body. Ipid spokesman Moses Dlamini could not be reached for comment on Sunday.

The IFP said it believed Mahiye could have been killed because of his political affiliation. There are rising tensions in the area, where a by-election will be held in two weeks’ time.

Since the beginning of the year there have been simmering tensions at the hostel. Both the IFP and the National Freedom Party (NFP) have had their members killed.

IFP Youth Brigade leader Sfiso Khumalo was last month arrested and charged with attempted murder following an incident in which two NFP members were shot at while campaigning at the hostel.

The killings led to the deployment of police in the area until after the elections on May 7.

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