Canaan Mdletshe and Eric Naki

Canaan Mdletshe and Eric Naki

The IFP and UDM have lambasted Wednesday's violent demonstrations by supporters of the ANC and its alliance partners in KwaZulu-Natal.

IFP spokesman on safety and security Velaphi Ndlovu described the violence as "leading the country into crisis", while UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said the ANC and its alliance partners must accept responsibility for the looting and violence that took place.

The ANC protest in Durban turned nasty when Jacob Zuma supporters refused to disperse after handing over a memorandum to Directorate of Special Operations deputy head Thanda Mngwengwe.

The protest was in support of the party's call for the permanent withdrawal of criminal charges against Zuma.

Protesters stoned the police, who in turn used rubber bullets and pepper spray and arrested two of the demonstrators.

Ndlovu said: "The latest protest and demonstrations, led by the ANC and Zuma supporters in KwaZuluNatal, leads the IFP to believe that their actions are leading the country into a crisis."

"Not the kind of revolutionary' crisis Zuma supporters are always ranting about but a socio-economic crisis."

Ndlovu added that incidents in KwaZulu-Natal have shown that "Julius Malema and Zwelinzima Vavi's statements were inciting violence among their followers".

"The call for teachers to strike and show their support for Zuma tomorrow [today] is appalling," Ndlovu said.

"The old rhetoric of 'Liberation before education' did the country no favours when you look at the current education crisis.

"How can teachers deny their pupils the opportunity to be educated and improve? They are leaving these pupils with a message of hopelessness."

Holomisa said: "They have presented themselves as revolutionaries not scared of resorting to violence to 'crush' and 'eliminate' all those who stand in their way."

But ANC's eThekwini region chairman John Mchunu said: "What happened was a minor thing that we condemned and it has been resolved.

"So the IFP must not use it to score political points, but instead use the same spirit to try and face up to its problems."