mec intervenes to stop fighting

THE intervention of KwaZulu-Natal MEC for community safety and liaison Willies Mchunu and deputy speaker Mtholephi Mthimkhulu has helped curb faction fighting in Ngudwini.

Mchunu and Mthimkhulu held talks with chiefs in the area in a bid to stop the fights that have claimed several lives.

On Sunday the police confiscated 24 illegal firearms during one of their operations in the area.

The firearms included AK-47s, six home-made rifles, shotguns, 9mm pistols and revolvers. The weapons were taken from the two communities involved in a bloody faction fight that has claimed three lives.

The eMankwanyaneni and eMankenganeni factions have been at loggerheads for some time, with the situation spiralling out of control recently.

Provincial police spokesperson Superintendent Vincent Mdunge said the operations were part of several interventions by government and provincial police commissioner Mamunye Ngobeni in the area.

"Our received information that arms were hidden in the bushes," Mdunge said. "On investigation we found them. People are now sleeping in the mountains, so they hide their weapons in the bushes.

"No one was, however, arrested. The area remains under 24-hour surveillance."

He said the police were confident they would recover more firearms. The conflict between the Mthethwa clan under Inkosi Nkosinathi Zulu and the Ncananas under Inkosi Sifiso Biyela has also disrupted schooling in the area.

Meanwhile, police yesterday said they had killed one of the most wanted taxi hitmen allegedly involved in the Umlazi and Folweni taxi feuds that have claimed many lives.

"The 31-year-old suspect wasfatally wounded by the police after he opened fire on them. He wasstopped by the police near Mbumbulu on Sunday afternoon. He shot at them andthepolice retaliated," Mdunge said.

He said a firearm had been recovered from the man.