IFP slams plan to rename Senzangakhona

CONTROVERSIAL: KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sbusiso Ndebele salutes the guard of honour after his state of the province address yesterday. With him are: his wife Zama Ndebele, and leader of the government business and MEC for finance and economic development Dr. Zweli Mkhize. Pic. siyabonga Mosunkutu. © Sowetan.
CONTROVERSIAL: KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sbusiso Ndebele salutes the guard of honour after his state of the province address yesterday. With him are: his wife Zama Ndebele, and leader of the government business and MEC for finance and economic development Dr. Zweli Mkhize. Pic. siyabonga Mosunkutu. © Sowetan.

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

KwaZulu-Natal premier Sbu Ndebele opened a can of worms yesterday when he announced plans to name King Senzangakhona stadium after ANC stalwart Moses Mabhida.

The stadium is being rebuilt at a cost of R2,2 billion for 2010 Soccer World Cup games in Durban.

Speaking during his state of the province address in Pietermaritzburg, Ndebele said the provincial government would embark on "transparent processes" aimed at renaming the stadium. He said all proposals from organisations and individuals would be considered.

However this has angered the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), which accused the ANC of using its majority "to politicise things that were completely outside of political boundaries".

The stadium was originally King's Park. It was demolished to make way for a 2010-compliant field. It was then named King Senzangakhona.

Ndebele's announcement comes weeks after the eThekwini municipality proposed that the stadium be named after Moses Mabhida, the late ANC and SACP leader whose remains were recently reburied in the country.

This proposal did not go down well with the IFP.

Mntomuhle Khawula, IFP provincial chairman, said: "This is derogatory to the current king and the Zulu nation. No one pressured the ANC to name the stadium after the king and we won't accept the change."

Turning to crime, Ndebele said the best way to deal with the escalating crime was to deal with it in the same way the province dealt with drunken driving.

He said before the start of the anti-drunk driving campaign called Shanela, even respectable members of society felt no shame admitting they had driven hundreds of kilometres in a drunken state.

He said crime would keep on escalating as long as communities supported criminals and created a market for them.

"Highly respected members of our community openly declare that they buy goods from the boys," he said

"It is only when we make criminals feel like fish out of water that we will turn the corner on crime," he said.

But he congratulated the police in the province for a job well done last year when they conducted several major crackdowns on hijack and cash-in-transit syndicates.

"These criminals were arrested here in this province, and after these arrests there has been a dramatic drop in cash heists and hijackings," he said.

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