One person was injured when Democratic Alliance supporters and a group of about 40 African National Congress supporters clashed at the end of a DA Freedom Day rally attended by about 1 500 people in Durban on Wednesday.
Details are sketchy, but the DA’s provincial leader Zwakele Mncwango said that as the party wrapped up its rally in the Welbedacht area of Chatsworth DA supporters were confronted by a group of about 40 people wearing ANC T-shirts.
DA councillor Heinz de Boer said: “As our people began leaving the area a number of vehicles including a bakkie with a loudspeaker system and the ANC flag arrived, effectively blocking the road.”
De Boer said he did not see how the DA member was stabbed, but confirmed that the wound was not life-threatening.
“He had quite a bit of blood coming off him,” said De Boer, adding that tensions had been high.
“It looked like there would be some kind of violence if it [the confrontation] continued.”
A van with two eThekwini Metro Police officers arrived and then a further two vans turned up to keep the two groups apart.
“It’s Freedom Day and then you have this kind of political intolerance,” said De Boer.
Comment could not immediately be obtained from eThekwini Metro Police and it was not known if the injured man had opened a charge.
Earlier at the rally in Welbedacht, the ruling African National Congress was accused of dividing the country along racial lines while failing to provide housing to all the country’s citizens.
Addressing the residents and party faithful, the Western Cape’s MEC for human settlements, Bonginkosi Madikizela, said: “What makes me very sad is that there are people living in shacks today. What we have witnessed is a patronage system where people get housing because they belong to a particular party.
That saddens me.”
Madikizela, who said he had lived in Welbedacht in the late 1980s, said that in the Western Cape, unlike in KwaZulu-Natal, there were proper waiting lists for housing and people knew where they were on that list.
“People [in KwaZulu-Natal] do not know where they are on the waiting list.”
Expanding on claims that the ANC was dividing the country along racial lines, he said: “People often say the DA is a white party. I am not white.”
He pointed out that both the party’s mayoral candidate for Durban, Haniff Hoosen, and its provincial leader, Zwakele Mncwango, were not white.
He also took a swing at claims that the DA was full of former National Party members.
“The ANC must not be hypocritical. It has National Party members as well. The last leader of the National Party (Martinus van Schalkwyk) went with many members to the ANC.”
He added out that the current deputy sports minister Gert Oosthuizen was also a former member of the National Party.
Madikizela said that the DA was proud that people from all walks of life and parties had joined it to improve the country.
He added: “We have leaders in the ruling party defending corruption.”
He said that the R246 million price tag of the renovations to President Jacob Zuma’s residence in Nkandla would have solved all the housing issues in Nkandla.
“Zuma and the ANC have reached their sell-by date,” he said.
– African News Agency (ANA)