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Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des Van Rooyen. Picture Credit: Gallo Images
Van Rooyen suddenly withdraws his interdict

In another twist involving the public protector’s office‚ the Minister of Co-operative Governance an.


By Mhlaba Memela | Jan 28, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

COPE KwaZulu-Natal has called for an urgent meeting with provincial MEC for community safety Senzo Mchunu after further alleged attacks on its members at the troubled Glebelands men's hostel in Umlazi.

Violence erupted at the hostel in the run-up to last year's elections.

Since then Cope members claim they have been attacked sporadically, allegedly by ANC members. The ANC in the province has denied the allegations.

Cope secretary Phillip Mhlongo said one of their members, Patrick Mthitshwa, was forcefully removed from Block Y in the hostel by armed ANC members on Sunday.

"The police refused to assist our members and this raises eyebrows since Mchunu has vowed to combat crime without fail," Mhlongo said.

"We have written a letter to Mchunu asking for an urgent meeting between him, the police, the ANC and ourselves to address the situation of instability in the hostel," he said.

"We believe Mchunu will act without favour against these thugs who use politics to advance human right atrocities to non-ANC members."

Mhlongo said they asked for the meeting to take place before the end of next month due to pressing issue involving the lives of people.

He wants the meeting to address the violence, forcible removal of Cope members from the hostel by ANC members, selective arrests of perpetrators of violence and the formation of a peace monitoring structure to oversee the peace process and signing of a peace accord between the two parties.

When Sowetan contacted Mthitshwa yesterday he said he was in hiding.

"I and several of my comrades are in hiding. We were chased by four men armed with guns," he said

"The men had attended an ANC meeting where they were given instructions to chase all Cope members out. When they came for us we fled to the police station."

Mthitshwa said he had been living at the hostel since 2001.

Mchunu's spokesperson, Bhekisisa Mncube, confirmed that a letter had been received by the MEC's office from Cope.

"The MEC has not seen the letter, which arrived on Tuesday. The letter is with the MEC's secretary," he said.

ANC provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala said they had not been briefed about Cope's request.

"We do not have a problem in engaging them on the issue but we will only be able to respond correctly once we have received the letter."

He said there had been no proof that ANC members were harassing other people.

"We urge Cope to take the matter to the polices," Zikalala said.

"We have no problem if Cope has proof of those who abuse their members. They should be arrested and prosecuted for violating the rights of others."


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