Task team bringspeace to KZN town

PREMIER Zweli Mkhize's task team has brought peace to Greytown in KwaZulu-Natal after the past few months of deadly battles between ANC and IFP members.

Leaders of both parties met in harmony on Friday and signed a peace agreement.

Tensions between the parties led to the murder of two IFP councillors and one from the ANC, as well as three ANC members.

Violence festered before and after the elections. At least seven prominent political figures and ordinary members were attacked in May and June.

Mkhize appointed a team under former community safety MEC Bheki Cele, now national police commissioner, to resolve the violence in the Umvoti municipality. The team included leaders of both parties and the police.

Suspects linked to five of the cases were nabbed.

The team has been taken over by Cele's successor, Willies Mchunu. The group organised meetings between the leaders of the opposing sides, which led to the breakthrough on Friday.

Mchunu said the peace initiative had achieved a milestone

"As a first step a meeting was held with police management in July," he said. "Agreements were reached on the deployment of the police and the army to stabilise the area. That was followed by the peace meeting between IFP and ANC members. The purpose of the meeting was to achieve everlasting peace."

Mchunu said Philani Mavundla of the ANC and Petros Ngubane of the IFP had agreed on behalf of their parties to work together to promote peace and political co-existence in Greytown.

Ngubane said they were committed to the agreement after recognising the pain of local residents, the province and the country.

Mavundla said local leaders would take responsibility to ensure peace.