ANC members allegedly attacked at commemoration event

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ANC members allegedly attacked at commemoration event

The African National Congress (ANC) claims some of its members were hospitalized after being attacked at a government commemoration event in KwaCeza, Nongoma, northern KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday. The alleged incident occurred while President Cyril Ramaphosa and AmaZulu King Misuzulu ka Zwelithini attended the 110th anniversary commemoration of King Dinuzulu ka Cetshwayo’s death.

In a statement, the ANC alleged that the attackers were members of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) transported from a hostel by bus. Both parties are reportedly attempting to quell further violence.

The event took place against a backdrop of rising political tensions in the province ahead of the general elections in May. Recently, a public dispute emerged between ANC KwaZulu-Natal chairperson Siboniso Duma and AmaZulu Traditional Prime Minister Thulasizwe Buthelezi, who accused the ANC of disrespecting the King. Duma swiftly intervened, accusing Buthelezi of hijacking the government event.

Political leaders have appealed for tolerance amidst the mounting friction. IFP leader Velenkosini Hlabisa stated, “What happened firstly was not necessary and I pray that as we are in the election mode if there are government functions, our programme directors should be mature not create unnecessary commotion because we don’t need violence.”

He added, “We want a peaceful election, we want people to be free to exercise their choices and get the new government in.”

The alleged attack has raised concerns over potential political violence flaring up during the campaigning period. Both the ANC and IFP have significant support bases in KwaZulu-Natal, which has historically been a flashpoint for inter-party tensions.

As investigations into the incident continue, calls are increasing for all political parties to exercise restraint and allow democratic processes to unfold freely and safely. Maintaining a climate of political tolerance will be crucial to ensuring free and fair elections in the province.