Peace indaba postponed again

Canaan Mdletshe

A second attempt to hold a meeting to end two years of bloody conflict involving three families in Olumbi, near Melmoth on the KwaZulu- Natal north coast, has failed.

One of the families failed to show up at a conciliation meeting on Sunday.

The conflict is between three families - the Mcineka, the Ncalane and the S'khakhanes - and has resulted in five people being killed since it began in 2005.

The meeting was rescheduled for Monday, but the Mcineka family did not show up.

They were in Durban attending the funeral of a family member gunned down last week.

The police have not linked his killing to the feud.

Superintendent Jay Naicker said Olumbi was quiet but tense because residents were hiding in the mountains, fearing attacks by the families

Inkosi Chakide Biyela is concerned that his authority is being undermined by the conflict. Biyela said yesterday that another meeting would be called soon.

The feud is reported to have started when Mzazawane S'khakhane was gunned down, allegedly by Zitha Mcineka, who accused him of having an affair with his mother.

Mcineka was arrested but released because of a lack of evidence.

This allegedly resulted in the S'khakhane attacking the Mcineka in revenge.

Last month a member of the Ncalane family, who had been instrumental in the election of a member of the Mcineka family to the position of induna, was gunned down, and soon after homesteads belonging to the Mcinekas were set ablaze. Five people have since been killed.

Naicker said the police would camp in the area until there was lasting peace.

Ten people arrested in connection with the incidents are in custody.