Violence hot spots identified in KZN

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

The Justice and Crime Prevention Security Cluster has painted a gloomy picture of possible political violence resurfacing in KwaZulu-Natal ahead of elections on Wednesday.

The cluster, which is made up of Safety and Security Minister Nathi Mthethwa, his deputy, Susan Shabangu, Minister of Intelligence Siyabonga Cwele, deputy minister of Justice Johnny de Lange, Defence Minister Charles Nqakula and his deputy, Fezile Bhengu were in Nongoma on Friday.

The politicians expressed concern at a "potential" political intolerance in the province.

They identified six areas and hostels as being "hot spots".

The cluster said of the nine provinces, KwaZulu-Natal, particularly Nongoma, was the most worrying area.

"KwaZulu-Natal remains a major cause for concern especially for potential political intolerance in Nongoma, Estcourt, Ntabamhlophe, Ulundi, KwaDukuza, Greytown, Msinga and the hostels," said Mthethwa.

He said they were, however, proud of the results of their intervention in the past few weeks.

He said they managed to deploy the national intervention unit, intelligence units and the SANDF to unmask the perpetrators.

"In this regard, the units have arrested 60 suspects over election-related matters, with one unfortunate death in Nongoma.

"Overall in the entire province we recorded nine fatalities. Of the nine deaths, police managed to make a breakthrough in six cases," said Mthethwa.

He said law enforcement agencies had collectively managed to recover 22 illegal firearms, including three AK-47s, one R5 assault rifle, two 303 rifles, a shotgun, 12 9mm pistols, two revolvers and one home-made gun.

Mthethwa said the SANDF would not be withdrawn from Nongoma following allegations that the IFP had threatened violence.