November 28, 2005

The IFP raises eyebrows at Premier S'bu Ndebele's decision to probe the "political hooliganism" of IFP supporters at the Abaqulusi Municipality. These afforded the delegation from the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Parliament, led by its Speaker, a hostile reception in Vryheid last week.

"The IFP condemns the disruption of the parliamentary visit in the strongest possible terms. We condemn violent behaviour in principle. But, at the same time, can see what made the Abaqulusi community angry," said former KZN Premier, Dr Lionel Mtshali MPP who currently leads the IFP caucus at the KZN Parliament.

The IFP would like to remind the Premier that it was the ANC-led provincial Cabinet that dissolved the Abaqulusi Council which the local people had elected. The MEC for Local Government, Mike Mabuyakhulu, subsequently installed a puppet administration.

"An ANC-dominated delegation later arrived to stage yet another glitzy event where it expected to tell the tranquil community how fortunate they were to have an ANC government. Did it not occur to anyone in the ANC that the locals may opt for a word of protest? What did the delegation expect?" - said Dr Mtshali.

"The Premier is being highly selective in pointing out 'hooligans'. He has forgotten that the ANC once used the same tactic of protest against a regime it perceived to be arrogant and unjust. We imagine this is how the people of Abaqulusi felt about the ministerial intervention in their council," said Dr Mtshali.

"When one listens to the Premier, one gets the impression that yesterday's ANC freedom fighters are the same kind as today's IFP 'hooligans'. Is the Premier rewriting the history of his own political movement or is he conveniently throwing mud at IFP supporters?" - said Dr Mtshali.

The IFP also notes that the MEC for Education, Ina Cronje, was quoted in the media as saying that there will not be any "no-go" areas in KwaZulu-Natal. She was apparently responding to the hostile reception of the parliamentary delegation in Vryheid.

"The grotesque part of the Minister's statement is that it was her party, the ANC, that created a "no-go" area of Vryheid when, during last week's visit, it neglected to invite some of the crucial stakeholders to the ongoing crisis at Abaqulusi," said Dr Mtshali in reference to the Mayor of the Zululand District Municipality, Ms Zanele Magwaza, and the local traditional leader, Induna Ntshangase.

For further information contact:
Dr Lionel Mtshali: 083 256 4902