anc steps into ifp stronghold

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

The ANC rally in Umsinga in the Kwazulu-Natal midlands will go ahead as planned this weekend.

This is after the party reached an out-of-court settlement with the IFP on Wednesday night.

Regional leaders of both parties signed an agreement pledging not to disrupt each other's political events.

The agreement comes after the ANC approached the Pietermaritzburg high court on Monday seeking an order to prevent the IFP from holding a political event close to its rally on Saturday.

ANC leader Philani Mavundla, chairperson of the Inkosi Bhambatha region for Umsinga, confirmed to Sowetan yesterday that they have reached a settlement with IFP lawyers.

Mavundla said according to the agreement the IFP promised that it will not hold a rally or a political event between Pomeroy and Ngome on Saturday.

He said they went to court after the IFP-led Umsinga municipality refused to acknowledge their application to hold a rally, despite it having been approved by the local chief and police.

"We had to go to court after the IFP said they would be having a rally on Saturday. We had to protect our members due to the previous experience at Nongoma, where our members were intimidated and attacked" he said.

Mavundla applauded the IFP regional leadership for the agreement. "We need to give credit where it's due, and this time I must congratulate the IFP for showing maturity by pledging their commitment to peace."

IFP national organizer Albert Mncwango confirmed that the agreement was signed.

He, however, denied that his party was planning to hold a rally or any political event in the area. He said the only rally would be held in eNkandla, which will be addressed by party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

He said his party was currently holding an election campaign in Umsinga - but that ends today.

"We have had activities in Umsinga since Monday, where Zanele Magwaza-Msibi [IFP national chairperson] is campaigning door to door.

"The campaign will culminate in a big election blitz in Greytown today - not on Saturday."