Editorial | While leaders condemn political intolerance in public, they do little to inculcate in their supporters the sense that elections are not won through bullying and violence. They are thus complicit in the behaviour of their members and supporters
Earlier this month, three women were killed in a drive-by shooting outside an ANC meeting in Inanda, Durban. Several others were injured in the stampede that ensued as people tried to flee the scene.
Over the same weekend, ActionSA alleged that one of its activists was intimidated and her possessions seized by a local ANC leader in Hillbrow, Johannesburg.This week, two DA campaigners were kidnapped, detained and assaulted before their party-branded vehicle was set alight.
Nothing was stolen. This was in northern KwaZulu-Natal.In the case of the Inanda killings, it appears they were the result of internal ANC battles over candidate nominations, while, in the rest, it was due to intimidation of political opponents.Either way, this is a worrying pattern that often characterises the build-up to elections in South Africa.
The point of democracy is that every eligible citizen has a say on who governs their town, province or nation.In the upcoming local government elections, the country’s 26 million registered voters will get a chance to choose candidates to represent their communities and governments to run their municipalities. headtopics.com
READ: Some SA youth say voting is pointlessAccording to the Electoral Commission of SA, parties are bound by the Electoral Code of Conduct, which is “aimed at promoting conditions that are conducive to free and fair elections and that create a climate of tolerance, free political campaigning and open public debate”.
While leaders rightly condemn political intolerance in public, they do little to inculcate in their supporters the sense that elections are not won through bullying and violence. They are thus complicit in the behaviour of their members and supporters.
In the interests of our constitutional democracy, all must act to put an end to this hideous cancer.As Deputy State Security Minister Zizi Kodwa said following the Inanda incident: such an attack is directed at our Constitution; it’s an attack on the system of democracy.Read more: City Press »
Police minister travels to KZN Midlands in hopes to calm tensions ahead of local government elections
National Police Minister, Bheki Cele, is expected to visit the KwaZulu-Natal town of Plessislaer following the murder of a ward councillor candidate last week.
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