KwaMashu residents living in fear
FEARFUL KwaMashu residents blame political leaders for gambling with lives.
A day after the body of IFP councillor Themba Xulu was found at the Tea Estate near Inanda, north of Durban, on Sunday, residents of the KwaMashu Hostel yesterday demanded to know why the government and political leaders had not found a solution to stop the ongoing political violence.
"As you walk outside your house, you step on to your grave here in the hostel," a female resident said. "And, our plight has been known for years. As women we have been let down by leaders.
"People who kill others here are known by the political parties' leaders. We know each other here but incidents of violence happen because we differ politically.
"Maybe it's about time government sent those people with skills to unchain the violent minds of people here," she said.
But the pleas for political intervention were made from behind locked doors as many are too afraid to leave their homes, or even send their children to school, after a bloody weekend that saw the abduction and murder of Xulu, the killing of Celiwe Shezi because she was wearing an IFP T-shirt and the gunning down of a policeman.
Despite the deployment of 110 more policemen, including heavily armed officers from the tactical response team, residents refused to believe that they were safe.
Durban mayor James Nxumalo yesterday visited Xulu's office to gather more information on his murder.
After the formation of the NFP prior to the 2011 local government elections, political violence in the area increased as supporters from the NFP and the IFP clashed often.
Before 1994, ANC and IFP supporters were at the centre of political violence in the area.
Political analyst Protas Madlala yesterday laid the blame squarely on the poor criminal justice system, social ills and congestion in the hostel.
"There is nothing that NFP leader Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi and IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi can do about the killing of the people in the hostel. But it is the failure of our criminal justice system. When a person kills another, he should not walk free because that results in other people seeking revenge," he said.
Madlala said because of congestion in the hostel, people are open about their political views which angers those who do not support the same ideas.
"The two places known to be NFP and IFP hot spots are KwaMashu Men's Hostel and Seventeen Men's Hostel."
Madlala said if the hostels were not destructed or if those with different political views were not separated, the killings would continue.
The province has been rocked by a spate of political killings in recent months, prompting police to set up two task teams to investigate the murders.