Tolerance is core to democracy

2014-01-26 14:00

In the recent past, a few places in the country were no-go areas for some political parties.

We have come a long way in ensuring that every citizen has the right to freedom of movement and association.

We welcomed ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa’s condemnation of his party members who blocked Julius Malema’s path when he campaigned near President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla home recently.

But it seems that not all ANC leaders are singing from the same tolerance hymn sheet.

“To us, this march by the DA is extreme provocation to the ANC. It can’t be anything else. What happens if our members come to protect Chief Albert Luthuli House? We should remind them [the DA] what happened when they marched [to Cosatu House].”

This was what ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said when he heard that DA leader Helen Zille was going to lead her supporters to Luthuli House to take the fight for jobs to the ANC’s head office.

We are not sure what the DA hopes to achieve with this march since Zuma’s government sits in Pretoria. However, political intolerance as displayed by Mthembu should never be allowed.

We suggest that the ANC be the bigger party and allow the DA to march. It should also encourage its supporters not to intimidate the opposition. In that way, the ANC would garner far more support, and not allow the DA to receive more of the attention it clearly seeks.

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