Sicelo Dladla

Sicelo Dladla

The issue of no-go areas for some ANC leaders appears to have resurfaced as parties gear up for next year's general elections.

The ANC claims that provincial and national government leaders have been prevented from entering certain so-called IFP strongholds.

The IFP has rejected the claims as "malicious" and a political analyst is surprised that there were still "no-go areas" in the province.

MEC for welfare Meshack Radebe says he conducts road shows at which people register for social grants, IDs and birth certificates and receive food parcels.

He alleges that IFP youths attacked him when he visited Hluhluwe a week ago.

His spokesman Mandla Ngema confirmed that the MEC was unhappy about attempts by "IFP members to create a no-go zone area for him".

"At a road show in Pongola on Friday residents told us that IFP members tried to prevent them from attending the event," Ngema said.

"The local chief also mentioned that their lives were in danger for being part of the road show."

Political analyst Protas Madlala was surprised to hear that some people were trying to prevent the MEC from visiting their areas.

"I thought the issue of no-go areas no longer applied and I hope it stops," he said.

But Madlala was sceptical about the MEC's complaint.

"It does not make sense that people are only targeting Radebe when other leaders also hold izimbizo and provide food parcels to the poor without being threatened," he said.

"Why only him and what does he bring when he visits people that other MECs don't?"

Madlala claimed Radebe was playing a political game.

Provincial ANC secretary Senzo Mchunu confirmed that complaints had been received and that it was not only Radebe who had been prevented from going into IFP strongholds.

"It happens to all MECs," he said. "It is the legacy of the past. They attempt to disrupt government events."

He appealed to IFP leadership to allow government officials to deliver services to the poor.

IFP provincial chairman Muntomuhle Khawula dismissed the complaints as "malicious politicking".

"We don't prevent people from coming to our areas," Khawula said. "It is also not the policy of the IFP to create no-go zones for other parties.

"In fact, we don't even have such powers and we cannot deny people from exercising their rights.

"Radebe must come up with concrete evidence to prove his case."

The spectre of no-go areas was prevalent in the run-up to the first democratic election in 1994.