'inkosi trying to mislead people'

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

The ANC Youth League in KwaZulu-Natal has lashed out at the people of Macambini for turning a R44billion development project into a political tussle.

The league yesterday lambasted local leader Inkosi Khayelihle Mathaba for his alleged "deliberate move to mislead people".

It accused Mathaba of playing IFP politics at the cost of development. On Thursday angry residents protested against the initiative by Dubai-based developer Ruwaad, backed by the provincial government, to turn Macambini into a world tourism paradise. More than 3000 demonstrators blocked the N2 freeway linking Durban and Richards Bay and pelted motorists with stones. They were demanding that the project be cancelled in favour of their own project by rival Dubai-based developer Sport Cities International (SCI).

Police used rubber bullets and pepper spray to disperse the crowd. At least 15 people were arrested and 12 others seriously injured.

ANCYL provincial secretary Bheki Mtolo said they are deeply shocked by the conduct of Mathaba and his community.

"The rebellion against the R44billion development with the potential to create jobs and boost the economy is rather a bizarre decision," Mtolo said.

He said they view Mathaba's conduct and utterances as a deliberate move to "advance an IFP political agenda".

"Mathaba has gravitated to a mere messenger of the IFP agenda rather than acting like an inkosi," he said.

The community has vowed to disrupt economic activities on the north coast if the Ruwaad deal goes ahead. They want Premier S'bu Ndebele and the Ruwaad consortium to withdraw the proposed development on 16500 hectares of their land.

The threat comes at a time when the province is gearing up for its annual influx of holiday makers into the province. Most visitors will be headed to the North Coast. The Ruwaad project is supported by the provincial government, big business, King Goodwill Zwelethini and Ndebele. Mathaba is an IFP member of the provincial legislature.