ANC: ‘Abahlali and opposition a third force’
17 Oct 2013
THE ANC-led eThekwini Municipality yesterday accused certain political parties and a shack dwellers’ movement of being the “third force” behind recent housing and service delivery protests.
In recent months, protests have taken place in Cato Crest, Isipingo, the Kennedy Road informal settlement and Umlazi.
Yesterday, the municipality’s human settlements and infrastructure committee chairman Nigel Gumede said the DA, NFP and Abahlali baseMjondolo were behind protests and land invasion.
The political parties and Abahlali have rubbished Gumede’s claims.
“We had a land invasion in Lamontville a few months ago and it turns out that National Freedom Party [NFP] was involved. We are aware that DA has been behind the land invasion in Cato Crest,” he said. Gumede said councillors implicated in the land invasions are being investigated by municipality speaker Logie Naidoo.
“These illegal protests were organised by Abahlali baseMjondolo. In fact, we should be arresting the leaders of Abahlali for land invasions, but we are a caring city that believes in negotiations,” he said.
Gumede said people cannot just wake up and barricade roads in the city.
“These are the people who indicated that they would make the city ungovernable,” he said.
Abahlali spokesperson Mnikelo Ndabankulu said the city cannot blame them for the violence. He said people were demanding what was rightfully theirs.
DA eThekwini caucus leader Zwakele Mncwango said his party had never been behind the protests in Cato Crest.
“The ANC cannot go around blaming the DA for the bulk of housing protests. Housing is a major issue in the city, hence the ANC continues to promise everyone houses in Cornubia project as part of their 2014 electioneering.
“Now, when people protest against the lies, the ANC blames a third force and political parties. They must deliver to the people.”
He said the DA would always respond when invited by people complaining about the lack of service delivery. “We will not be threatened or deterred by the ANC leadership when we carry out this oversight role,” Mncwango said.
City mayor James Nxumalo said: “The people behind these protests are not even staying in shacks. There are parties influencing people to invade land in order to gain support ahead of general elections,” he said.
Nxumalo said the city adopted a zero tolerance approach to land invasion.
“We will no longer tolerate the mushrooming of informal settlements. We are strengthening the capacity of our land invasion unit to eradicate sporadic land invasions,” he said.
NFP caucus leader Bhungu Gwala said it was “blue lies” of ANC councillors that his party played role in land invasion.
“The ANC wants to shift the blame to us because they failed to deliver on their promises. We do not have councillors investigated by the speaker,” he said.
Gwala said the ANC was annoyed that it had lost members in Lamontville to the NFP.