Campaign violence

2009-02-03 00:00

THE violence which erupted in Nongoma on Sunday when both the Inkatha Freedom Party and the ANC held election rallies in the town is not a happy omen for what might lie ahead in the next two to three months of electioneering. It is simply irresponsible given the history of political intolerance and violence in this province for the main players to hold rallies simultaneously in the same small town. If they are to be held in the same place they must be on different days. If they are to be on the same day, then they must not be in the same place but somewhere far removed, from each other.

The onus clearly lies on the party leadership to ensure that their arrangements are such that young hotheads have no chance to run amok. So far we have had too much brinkmanship and provocation.

Equally unacceptable is the bullying of the owners of facilities to deny their use to political opponents. The Congress of the People appears to have been the victim of this tactic at the hands of the ANC on several occasions.

Political leaders carry a heavy burden in a volatile political atmosphere. They should exercise the greatest circumspection and restraint both in what they say and in the arrangements they make.

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