Man killed in ongoing faction friction violence

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

A 40-year-old man was shot dead and two others were seriously wounded in the ongoing 10-year feud between Ezimambeni and Esiyembeni factions in Machi- bini, outside Mtubatuba in northern Zululand.

The dead man was identified as Mbhuti Nyandeni.

His death brings to 14 the number of people who have been killed in Mtubatuba and Johannesburg since the faction fighting started.

The three men were attacked on Wednesday evening on the eve of a meeting between the two warring factions, traditional leaders and the police. The meeting was held yesterday at Emgeza tribal court.

Another meeting has been scheduled for today with the Ezimambeni faction.

Police spokesman Captain Jabulani Mdletshe said the victims were shot as they were having drinks.

"The three victims were from Ezimambeni area.

"The shooting took place three days after two brothers, Sizwe and Sibusiso Ntombela of Esiyembeni, were shot and wounded on Saturday," said Mdletshe.

He said the two factions had been feuding since 1998, but it was not clear why they were fighting. He said the aim of yesterday's meeting was to determine the cause of the fighting and to try and find a solution.

Meanwhile, Qhina Mkhwanazi, a spokesman for the Mpukunyoni traditional council, expressed disappointment that only one of the two factions attended the meeting.

He said only the Esiyembeni faction arrived, while the other clan refused to attend, saying they were mourning the death of the latest victim of the war.

"Although we discussed issues, we could not get to the bottom of the cause of the fighting since the other faction did not show up. But we will continue to engage them because we want this war to end," said Mkhwanazi.

He said the Esiyembeni faction told the meeting that the fighting started when one of their clan members was attacked and killed, and they retaliated.

"The fighting has spread to Johannesburg, and out of seven people that have been killed from Esiyembeni, six were gunned down in Johannesburg.

"And of the five that have been killed from the other faction, two were murdered in Johannesburg," said Mkhwanazi.

He said they were concerned about reports that a senior headman from the Ezimambeni clan was collecting money from locals.

"We are not sure what the money is for. We are worried because this might mean they are still preparing for war."

Mkhwanazi added that a meeting was being arranged to discuss the claims.