Breakthroughs amid rising political rows

Mary Papayya and Mhlaba Memela

Mary Papayya and Mhlaba Memela

Police detectives at the weekend made breakthroughs in the recent politically motivated crimes in KwaZulu-Natal.

Police spokesman Jay Naicker said police in Nongoma arrested a 30-year-old man for the attack on ANC leader Prince Zeblon Zulu and his family on February 1. Zulu was attacked while on his way home from an ANC rally in Nongoma.

Earlier police arrested Pitso Nyembe, 32, for the attack and he remains in police custody.

Naicker said a second arrest by detectives from the province's Organised Crime Unit was for the murder of ANC Youth League chairperson at Umgababa on the South Coast.

The arrests come amid growing political tensions in the province as election rallies swing into top gear ahead of the April elections.

The latest example is the near disruption of an ANC rally after the IFP defied a Pietermaritzburg high court order not to hold a rally within a 5km radius of its rival's rally at Enseleni on Sunday. The ANC lodged an urgent application with the high court to prevent the IFP from holding a meeting closer to theirs to avoid chaos.

The IFP, however, continued with their rally, ignoring the court order. Safety and Security Minister Nathi Mthethwa had to intervene to prevent clashes between rival supporters.

He allegedly stepped in when a group of "unruly IFP supporters" tried to block ANC supporters from leaving the Enseleni Stadium.

Television footage showed "aggressive IFP supporters arguing" with the police.

ANC's secretary Senzo Mchunu, pictured, said that not only did the IFP desecrate one of the pillars of the constitutional democracy, but it flagrantly disregarded the court order.

IFP provincial chairperson Mntomuhle Khawula refuted the claims that IFP members aimed to disrupt the ANC rally.

"The meetings were finished almost at the same time. Police and soldiers came to stop our members while walking to their homes."

Meanwhile, the Independent Electoral Commission will hold a special peace code signing ceremony in KwaZulu-Natal next month.