IFP denies link to township violence

DENYING ALLEGATIONS: Madala Abraham Mzizi of IFP. Pic. Lucky Nxumalo. 26/05/2008. © Sowetan.
DENYING ALLEGATIONS: Madala Abraham Mzizi of IFP. Pic. Lucky Nxumalo. 26/05/2008. © Sowetan.

Eric Naki

Eric Naki

The parliamentary multiparty task team has been told that the xenophobic violence that swept through Alexandra township was a planned, politically motivated attack.

Fingers were pointed at residents of nearby hostels. At least three men, who allegedly pin-pointed victims and houses to be attacked, have been arrested.

The community has also identified another suspect from one of the hostels. His name will be given to the police.

The team of parliamentarians, led by chairman Obed Bapela, visited Alexandra, Tembisa, Reiger Park and Germiston in Ekurhuleni to hear evidence from various stakeholders on the cause of the violence.

The committee held talks with representatives from the ANC, IFP, PAC, ANCYL, councillors, non-governmental organisations, Alexandra community policing forum, religious leaders, government officials and senior local and provincial police officers.

Both the ANC in the township and police believe the violence was planned. Alexandra police station commissioner Director Theko Pharasi told the committee that violence was preceded by a meeting of local hostel dwellers.

An ANCYL spokesman accused the IFP of being behind the violence, saying that the police needed to beef up their intelligence work to get to the bottom of the problem.

But IFP representatives at the meeting, Madala Abraham Mzizi and Nhlanhla Msimang, rejected the allegations.

Msimang said the July 2007 meeting, which he attended, was meant to discuss a lack of service delivery for the hostel dwellers and planned protest against the issue.

"People were demanding houses and jobs and the police had to intervene," Msimang said. "The situation is not known to the IFP."