Five IFP members were released after the High Court in Pietermaritzburg found that charges of murder and attempted murder could not be proved.

Durban - The IFP has welcomed a Pietermaritzburg High Court decision to release five of its members accused of murder and attempted murder.

“Justice has been served and it has been proven that the IFP has never been involved in any acts of violence,” Inkatha Freedom Party KwaZulu-Natal legislature caucus leader Blessed Gwala said in a statement.

“We welcome the ruling and applaud those who had been investigating the case for their diligent work.”

Zwelempi Gumede, 71, IFP councillor Fumakosi Gumede, 41, Mephatimeni Gumede, 41, Busani Gumede, 29, and Qapekini Gumede, 21, were released after the court found that the charges of murder and attempted murder could not be proved.

They had been implicated in the death of an African National Congress member and wounding of seven others during an election victory celebration in April 2009.

The ANC members were shot at while travelling in a motorcade in the IFP stronghold of Swayimani, in Camperdown.

Zemaile Hlongwane was shot dead. The wounded were taken to various hospitals.

A witness testifying for the State alleged that three of the accused fired at the motorcade.

She later said five people were involved, but under cross-examination admitted that she had tried to mislead the court. - Sapa