Mzansi Afrika

From Johannesburg South Africa, a window on the world

Saturday, February 28, 2004

PRE-ELECTION VIOLENCE IN KWAZULU NATAL

While party leaders in KwaZulu-Natal step up the rhetoric and war-talk ahead of the elections, communities on the ground are increasingly refusing to be used as cannon-fodder in political "turf" wars. Eight people have been killed in clashes between the Inkatha Freedom Party and the African National Congress in KwaZulu-Natal in the past month, sparking fears of renewed violence in the province where political rivalry between the two parties left about 20 000 dead in the decade ending in 1996. On Tuesday hundreds of South African National Defence Force members were deployed in provincial hot spots - Ulundi, Nongoma, Mahlabathini, Estcourt, Tongaat and Greytown - in an effort to prevent violence