IFP councillors walk out of food project

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

Tensions between the ANC and IFP in KwaZulu-Natal's rural areas are continuing.

Yesterday, IFP councillors walked out of a R2million food security project in Nhlwathi near KwaHlabisa in northern Zululand, protesting against the exclusion of the local mayor, Bonginkosi Ntombela, from the programme.

Police had to be called in to restore calm and order.

The project was launched by MEC for agriculture Mtholephi Mthimkhulu.

Hlabisa municipality speaker and IFP councillor Zakhele Nyawo said the problem began when local chief Bonga Mdletshe, who is also a member of the provincial legislature, asked that mayor Ntombela be included in the programme.

When Mthimkhulu refused, the IFP councillors decided to walk out. Department spokesman Khulekani Ntshangase confirmed the incident.

He said the problem began when Mdletshe phoned Mthimkhulu and advised him to bring policemen because he "will not come out" alive.

"Mthimkhulu responded by saying that nothing will stop the department from bringing service delivery to the people," he said.

This is the second incident involving IFP supporters allegedly disrupting a government event.

Last month they disrupted an event in Nongoma attended by MECs Meshack Hadebe, Peggy Nkonyeni and Mthimkhulu. There they allegedly complained about Nkonyeni using the event to talk about the ANC manifesto.