IFP rejects NFP claims over hostel peace bid

THE IFP has disputed claims that it does not want to work with the National Freedom Party to bring stability to the men's hostel in KwaMashu, KwaZulu-Natal.

IFP deputy national spokesman Joshua Mazibuko said yesterday: "Firstly, for the record, in principle the Inkatha Freedom Party is not opposed to joint ventures as some of the strategies that may be employed to bring about peace.

"However, our political analysis tells us that it is premature to engage in such an endeavour right now. Tensions are so high that it would be very risky to do so."

The situation in KwaMashu's hostel has been tense following the deaths of three people in recent weeks.

IFP councillor Themba Xulu was abducted from his home in KwaMashu's A-Section on October 5, allegedly by five men posing as policemen. His body was found two days later in the eTafulene area near Durban.

Cebisile Shezi, 31, who was wearing an IFP T-shirt, was shot dead on October 6. He was shot dead near Thembalihle railway station in KwaMashu shortly after Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa had addressed IFP supporters in A-section, where the hostels are located.

IFP supporter Siyabonga Dlamini was allegedly also shot dead by an NFP eThekwini councillor in full view of police and television cameras last Monday outside the Ntuzuma Magistrate's Court.

Mazibuko said there was a bilateral committee led by IFP chairman Bhekisisa Mthethwa and NFP secretary Nhlanhla Khubisa which dealt with the violence and intolerance.

"In addition, there is a provincial multiparty committee led by the MEC for community safety, Willies Mchunu, which brings together all political parties," he said.

Mazibuko said IFP leaders regularly visited the men's hostel in KwaMashu to talk peace with their members.

"Let me state unequivocally that the NFP is in fact deliberately misleading the world when they say that the IFP has rejected their proposal, because they have sent no official communication to the IFP head office," he said.

NFP secretary Nhlanhla Khubisa said he believed both parties needed to speak to people at the KwaMashu and Umlazi hostels to quell the violence. "It is unfortunate that the party (IFP) rejects our offer," Khubisa said.

He said people would gain confidence in their leaders if they were seen to be working together.

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