Faction fight area still tense

POLICE are maintaining a strong presence at Ngudwini, Eshowe, in northern KwaZulu-Natal, following faction fighting that claimed three lives.

Initial reports were that five people had been killed during a gunfight between the eMankenganeni and eMankwanyaneni factions on Sunday. But police confirmed yesterday that only three people were killed and two others were seriously injured.

Provincial police spokesperson Superintendent Vincent Mdunge said public order police who had been deployed to the area would remain there until the situation was back to normal. He urged residents to remain calm.

"We urge community members not to take the law into their own hands by seeking revenge. Police are investigating and a task team has been established to thoroughly investigate the cause of the fighting," he said.

The situation in the area remains tense and some people, especially young men, sleep in the mountains, fearing for their lives. There are also fears that local schools could be forced to shut down.

Inkosi Nkosinathi Zulu said they were worried that the fighting could spread.

"What we are busy with at the moment is to find a lasting solution to this problem. Our main worry is that these fights might spread to other areas. We know that most of the men from the area work in cities and stay in hostels.

"If we don't find a solution, the fighting might spread to those areas. We want these killings to stop. Our priority at the moment is to bring stability to the area," Zulu said.

Meanwhile, Bheki Ntuli, chairperson of the province's community safety portfolio committee, has warned that those who did not hand over their firearms to the police as part of the Awuleth'umshini wakho Campaign, would face the full wrath of the law. He was speaking at KwaMaphumulo yesterday.

"We must applaud those who have heeded the call, but must warn those who will miss the April 1 deadline that they will be arrested. A special task team would be going out in full force to get the guns out of the public's hands before the World Cup because we want our visitors to be safe," said Ntuli.