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IFP president distances party from political violence allegations

By Khethukuthula Xulu

The ANC called for thorough investigations into a voice note of an IFP supporter that allegedly instigated violence.

IFP leader Velenkosini Hlabisa.
IFP leader Velenkosini Hlabisa.

The Inkatha Freedom Party IFP in KwaZulu-Natal has distanced itself from any allegations of its involvement in the killing of NFP councillor, Ntombenhle Mchunu, following the recent attack on Mzala Nxumalo regional secretary, Ntokozo Nxumalo’s home.

This after the African National Congress (ANC) in KZN alleged that another incident of intimidation may lead to politically related killings and political instability in Nongoma.

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The party, in addition to its statement last week calling on the people of KZN to stand together and show a public display of disapproval against “chief warmongers who are masquerading as politicians”, called for thorough investigations into a voice note of an IFP supporter that allegedly instigated violence.

We called for a thorough investigation because, shortly after the swearing in of new office-bearers in Nongoma Local Municipality, a threatening voice note of a staunch IFP supporter was shared widely on social media platforms. We reminded the public that in the voice note, this IFP supporter repeatedly stated that Nongoma Local Municipality belonged to Inkatha and nobody else.

“He was aggrieved that an IFP councillor, Albert Mncwango, and other IFP office-bearers had been removed,” said ANC KZN secretary Bheki Mtolo.

According to Mtolo, the IFP supporter further threatened violence within three days, a week or a month.

“Mama Ntombenhle Mchunu was gunned down exactly within a month. This was not a coincidence as we stated.”

“As the ANC, we are confident that KZN police commissioner Lieutenant General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi will assign experts in intelligence gathering to look into both matters. A team of ballistic experts must also be deployed to ensure the gathering of evidence and spot examinations of cartridges found on the two crime scenes.”

“Finally, our message to the chief warmongers is that the majority of South Africans and the people of KwaZulu-Natal will crush all attempts aimed at taking us back to the era of black-on-black violence.”

Responding to the allegations made by the ANC, IFP leader Velenkosini Hlabisa told The Witness that the party distanced itself from any attempts to draw a connection to the party and the death of Mchunu.

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As soon as we heard about the death of Mchunu, we sent our heartfelt condolences to the NFP and the Mchunu family. We also want to publicly distance ourselves from the voice note shared on social media threatening violence against any leader.

He said if anyone made any threats on social media, it was up to the police to investigate and find the killers of Mchunu.

“As a political party, we believe in peace and we don’t believe in any form of violence; worse, the killing of a woman.”

“We condemn those actions. I would like to emphasise that things that happen on social media are difficult to trace, as many people use false accounts to make such threats,” he said.