Shenge blasts ANC 'war talk'

Eric Naki

Eric Naki

IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi has warned that the violent rhetoric of ANC KwaZulu-Natal provincial secretary Senzo Mchunu against Mosiuoa Lekota's breakaway group, telling it not to recruit or campaign in the province, could trigger violence.

The veteran politician said Mchunu's statement could be interpreted as a call to war and has no place in a democracy.

He said the statements threatening to crush other parties and Mchunu's latest outburst against the splinter group not to use KwaZulu-Natal as a "hunting ground" were "frightening".

He said: "It has a violent connotation. I always respected Senzo Mchunu as a democrat, but when he says they will crush an emerging party he needs to explain what he means.

"Is he declaring no-go areas for other parties?

"This is a democracy and we are free to fish from the same pond. Parties are free to campaign wherever they like.

"It is a very threatening statement to make, especially in a province such as ours with a history of violence."

The National Democratic Convention (Nadeco) lashed out at what it calls a "wounded and bleeding ANC" for threatening Mosiuoa Lekota and his freedom to campaign and recruit in KwaZulu-Natal.

"Nadeco has noted that the ANC is bleeding profusely and needs a blood transfusion," Nadeco national spokesman Margaret Arnolds said.

"The ANC is almost in a coma and that is the reason why Senzo Mchunu is threatening the Lekota faction not to harvest members in KwaZulu-Natal.

"Clearly the ANC feels threatened and have their backs against the wall. They are panicking, trying to escape the internal challenge posed by Lekota and his splinter group."

Arnolds accused the ANC and its alliance partners of having a "short vision" as "demonstrated by the manner in which they have managed developments in their ranks".

Had the party heeded Nadeco's call for early elections after Polokwane, the split would not have happened, Arnolds said.