4 held at ANC’s Umlazi rally
Four people were arrested for public violence in Umlazi, Durban, yesterday, after the ANC staged a celebratory rally in the former IFP stronghold.
Provincial police spokes-man Lieutenant Colonel Vincent Mdunge said people believed to be IFP supporters had attempted to stop buses and vehicles ferrying ANC members to the area.
“They were also stoning cars that had arrived at the rally and caused a lot of commotion. Because of the intensity of the situation, a strong police presence had to be called to try and resolve the issue.”
Mdunge said that while police officers were removing barricades from the roads, shots had been fired and the police had fired rubber bullets in order to disperse the crowd.
“No one was injured, but four suspects were arrested and were formally charged with public violence,” he said.
They are expected to appear at the Umlazi Magistrate’s Court today.
Gunshots rang out in Umlazi’s unit 17 hostels , causing panic among ANC members attending the rally.
People believed to be IFP supporters attempted to stop vehicles carrying ANC members but police prevented the rally being disrupted.
The ANC won the former IFP ward during the May local government elections.
Mdunge said those trying to stop the rally threw stones, damaging police and private vehicles.
One person had hand injuries and was attended to by paramedics.
IFP deputy national spokesman Joshua Mazibuko said yesterday his party was not aware of what had happened at Unit 17. “We will, however, institute a full investigation into these allegations,” he said.
Speaker after speaker at the rally said the time for no-go areas was gone.
“The IFP should understand that things have changed now. It cannot be that 17 years after freedom some people are still trying to create no-go areas for the ANC,” said eThekwini mayor James Nxumalo.
A similar sentiment was expressed by Gauteng premier Nomvula Nonkonyana. “We have a right to talk to people, even in the so-called IFP areas. We refuse to be threatened by a dead snake,” she said. – Daily News