Political intolerance boiled over at the funeral of Inkosi Mbongeleni Zondi this weekend as ANC and IFP supporters taunted each other when some mourners were accused of using the event as a platform for electioneering.
Zondi, the 37-year-old chief at Umsinga, was ambushed and killed in Umlazi last Thursday while visiting his fiancée Mbali Mbhele. He died in a hail of bullets.
The trouble first began when Premier Sbu Ndebele introduced ANC president Jacob Zuma by saying he was "destined" to run the country. Ndebele said Zuma would only accomplish this if voters "made the correct choice" at the forthcoming elections.
IFP members accused the ruling party of highjacking the funeral and turning it into a political playground. They tried to storm the tent in which the ceremony was being held.
Senior IFP leaders, including secretary-general Musa Zondi and Mayor Petros Ngubane of uMvoti, intervened to calm their angry supporters, who were armed with sticks and waving party flags. Police were called to restore order.
Zuma did not mince his words to condemn Zondi's murder.
He described his killers as cowards who apparently wanted to "instil fear and terror" in the hearts of the people.
Zondi, Zuma said, was a proud member of the ANC, which he had served honourably, but "he had not excluded" other political parties from operating in his area.