NONGOMA 'IS NOW A SAFE AREA'

The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal, pushing ahead for total control of the province, has declared that Nongoma was no longer "a no-go area".

The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal, pushing ahead for total control of the province, has declared that Nongoma was no longer "a no-go area".

The party held its first of many planned election victory celebrations in Nongoma yesterday. And it was incident free.

In the run-up to the elections Nongoma was the scene of violent scenes between the ANC and IFP.

The rally was held 24 hours after huge celebrations in Nkandla, where 19 cows were slaughtered for the community in celebration of Jacob Zuma's ascendency to power.

Though provincial chairperson Zweli Mkhize, who was scheduled to be a main speaker at the rally, did not show up, other leaders praised their supporters for voting for the ANC in the April elections.

Mkhize and Zuma's helicopter was prevented by bad weather from trying to attend the event.

Safety and security MEC Bheki Cele said the area of Nongoma was no longer a no-go area, because of the ANC.

"You did not make a mistake by voting for us because we are the only party that can bring development," he said.

Meanwhile, President Zuma has reaffirmed his administration's commitment to development in rural areas.

Addressing an estimated 30000 people in Nkandla on Saturday, Zuma assured people in rural areas that he would never shy away from helping them.

Nkandla was abuzz with celebrities, musicians, politicians, business people and soccer bosses as they all converged to celebrate Zuma's rise to high office.

'This is a rural area and as a local boy I always say that I represent the poor, which is why to me, rural development is very important," Zuma said.

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