The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) has accused expelled party councillors from the Mthonjaneni municipality, in northern KwaZulu-Natal, of having instigated community protests which resulted in violent clashes at the weekend.

A 33-year old man was one of the three people who sustained gunshot wounds during the clashes at Thubalethu township.

Protestors allegedly threw stones at the vehicle of bodyguards who were safeguarding party leaders attending an IFP meeting in the area.

The protestors were demanding the reinstatement of the former mayor and four councillors expelled by the IFP for allegedly working with the ANC.

Those protests were instigated by those councillors whom we have dismissed. If they want to appeal they know what to do, but there is no appeal through a protest. So we condemn the violence that has taken place because it is quite selfish to go and instigate the community,” says IFP National Spokesperson, Mkhuleko Hlengwa.

Hlengwa says the South African Police Service (SAPS) were informed of the meeting.

“Now some of the leaders that were there may also be office bearers in certain places and they are entitled to protections and they are legitimate and legal protection found themselves having to protect and defend. The SAPS having been informed that there will be a meeting,[they] sent one officer there in a situation that has been volatile and people who have been protesting,” says Hlengwa.