Durban: February 2, 2005

The IFP's KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Spokesperson, Mr Velaphi Ndlovu, today condemned the murder of Mr Ndabazempi Elliot Mbatha, known as "Stende" who was a prominent member and an IFP activist in Nongoma, KwaZulu-Natal.

The occupants of a passing vehicle gunned down "Stende" Mbatha on Saturday evening, 29th January 2005, in the Usuthu Area of Nongoma. He died at the scene. At the time of his murder Mr Selby Ndwandwe, who is also an IFP member, accompanied him. Mr Ndwandwe sustained an injury to his left arm and was taken to hospital. He has subsequently been released.

Mr Ndlovu said:

"We condemn the murder of Stende. He was a prominent IFP leader and activist in Nongoma. It seems as the trend of murdering IFP members in Nongoma continues unabated. These continued killings unfortunately will increase the tension between the IFP and the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal, as rumours are rife that these are politically motivated assassinations."

"We call on the police to move quickly to arrest the killers of yet another IFP leader in Nongoma. Quick action is necessary to dispel the notion that the police in Nongoma do not take the murder of IFP members seriously."

"We pass our sincere condolences to Stende's wives and children. We mourn together with them because Stende was part of the IFP family. He will be sorely missed. We pray that God will bless and comfort all his family and friends."

A Memorial Service for "Stende" Mbatha will take place on Friday, 4th February 2005, at the Usuthu Multi-Purpose Hall, in Nongoma, at 10h00.

He will be buried on Saturday, 5th February 2005. The burial service will be held at the Usuthu Multi-Purpose Hall and will begin at 14h00.

Mr VB Ndlovu - 083 625 0803