Nongoma on edge

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

Police will have their hands full this weekend when the IFP and ANC "invade" Nongoma to hold election campaigns.

The ANC is expected to hold a rally at Mona, to be addressed by party president Jacob Zuma, and the IFP is expected to hold meetings and nomination conferences in the same area.

Police spokesman Superintendent Vincent Mdunge warned yesterday that it was abnormal for local authorities to allow events "of this magnitude" to take place in the same area because it could have "complicated consequences".

"We hope the local authorities will not allow both rallies to take place at the same time. But if they are permitted to hold them both, we will police them," Mdunge said.

IFP provincial secretary Bonginkosi Buthelezi said their meetings were planned in December and they had not known the ANC planned to hold a rally in the same area.

"It is just a coincidence that we will be having different activities in Nongoma at the same time as the ANC."

Buthelezi said the IFP's district leadership would address the meetings.

"We will be mobilising the people as we are heading towards the elections," he said.

ANC provincial secretary Senzo Mchunu said their rally would go on.

"We are confident that people will turn up to hear how the ANC plans to improve the lives of the people of Zululand and to extricate them from the bondage of poverty."

He called on the security agencies to be on high alert to curb any intimidation.

Political violence monitor Mary de Haas said she believed the rallies would be "undisturbed" because of extensive media attention.

She said she believed the police would be out in force to quell any volatile situation that might arise.