Mchunu slams IFP leader for incitement

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

Speaker in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature Willies Mchunu has lambasted a member of the provincial legislature for fanning violence in the run-up to the elections.

Addressing the media in Durban yesterday, Mchunu singled out MPL and IFP Youth Brigade leader Thulasizwe Buthelezi.

Buthelezi was quoted as saying that the Nongoma shootings and mayhem would look like a "Sunday school picnic" compared to what they would do to the ANC Youth League president Julius Malema if he went to the area to campaign.

"The statement is unfortunate, especially as it comes from the honourable member of our legislature. Not only that, the Sunday picnic reference means the IFP's unequivocal approval of shooting at political opponents, but, it is also the clearest indication yet that the IFP has no regard for human life," Mchunu said.

Mchunu said he had received complaints from provincial MECs that government service delivery programmes in Zululand were often disrupted by individuals clad in party political regalia.

"How long must we tolerate such disturbing incidences? It makes a mockery of our political victory in 1994," he said.

Mchunu said there was no provocation meant in Malema's statement: "We will campaign in Buthelezi's backyard, recruit his children.

"What the statement meant is that the ANC intends to campaign freely in all areas," he said.

Mchunu described how hundreds of IFP supporters stormed the hall where he addressed a community meeting in Abaqulusi district in Dlomodlomo in 2005. They threw stones at the delegation of MPLs. He said he knew the "full effects of political violence and intolerance".

Mchunu said the most worrying phenomenon about the Zululand district is that government events are not spared from disruptions by people aligned to or clad in IFP regalia.