ANC, IFP squabble over Abaqulusi visit

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

A war of words has erupted between the IFP and the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal over a programme to take the provincial parliament to the people.

The IFP's Lionel Mtshali, who is the leader of the official opposition, accused the ruling ANC of using the programme to advance its own interests.

"The provincial parliament has once again jettisoned its role as an independent oversight body and, instead, proved that its overriding ambition is to advance the interests of the ruling party," said Mtshali.

He said the ANC's approval of the programme disregarded objections from the opposition to take the provincial parliament to the troubled Abaqulusi local municipality in October.

"Through the visit, the ANC was trying to strengthen its presence in Abaqulusi, an area traditionally dominated by the IFP," he said.

Mtshali admitted there were interparty squabbles in Abaqulusi municipality, but said they were a matter for the local government.

The area's council was recently placed under administration because of the squabbling between the IFP and ANC in the area.

"The district municipality, and not the provincial parliament, is the relevant institution to deal with the area's problems."

But Willies Mchunu, the KwaZulu-Natal legislature's speaker, said the legislature was proceeding with the planned visit to Abaqulusi in October.

"It is wrong to say that we target areas led by certain political parties.

"We select areas that are far from parliament to expose them to what really happens in parliament," he said.