Ruling party members attacked as S Africa prepares for elections

February 2nd, 2009 - 4:02 am ICT by IANS  

Johannesburg, Feb 2 (DPA) Election rallies in South Africa’s KwaZulu- Natal Province saw attacks on members of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party at the weekend, with several seriously injured, according to reports.Sunday, an ANC member of parliament and two women travelling with him from a party rally came under gunfire in the town of Nongoma in northern Zululand, the South African Press Association (SAPA) news agency reported.

Prince Zeblon Zulu, who is also a member of the Zulu royal family, and the two women were shot but survived, police were quoted as saying in the report . One of the women had been shot in the forehead and was in a critical condition.

Earlier in the day, at least six ANC members were sustained serious injuries when the buses carrying them to the rally came under attacked by individuals believed to be supporters of the rival Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP).

The IFP has denied the allegations.

The previous day, an ANC official from Nongoma was shot in the leg, allegedly by an IFP official in full view of his colleagues at the ANC office in the area, according to Sapa.

The incidents follow the apparent assassinations of two ANC officials in the province earlier this month.

South Africa is preparing for elections that will mark the fourth democratic post-apartheid poll since April 1994. The exact date is not yet known. Major parties held election rallies on the weekend amid tight security.

ANC President Jacob Zuma, Sunday expressed his concern over the attacks and called for political tolerance. Zuma is the leading candidate for president in the elections. He hails from KwaZulu-Natal Province that was the scene of bloody clashes between ANC and IFP supporters that claimed thousands of lives in the run-up to the 1994 elections.

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