MECs call for peace in Estcourt

2010-08-03 00:00

ESTCOURT residents were yesterday warned not to re-ignite the political violence that ravaged the area in the early 90s, as this would negatively impact on the area’s development and investment potential.

The MEC for Social Development, Meshack Radebe, and the MEC for Transport Community Safety and Liaison, Willies Mchunu, both issued the warning during their visit to the area after flare-ups of incidents of alleged political violence that have already left two people dead.

Mchunu urged the residents to oppose the violence before it engulfs the area and to deal with the criminal elements who may hijack the political turmoil to serve criminal ends.

He expressed concern the general lack of political intolerance that has caused tensions in the area.

“Despite the many gains since the dawn of democracy, the Estcourt area always seems to fail to shed its political intolerance. Just when one thinks that there is finally peace in the area, there are always these flare-ups which destabilise the area,” said Mchunu

He urged the community to move towards reconciliation. “One of the most fascinating examples of political tolerance is our provincial legislature. There is no place as dynamic as the legislature because even though we have a past, now, when we go there, we go for intellectual dialogue rather than political bickering,”

Radebe warned the community about the problems of letting the political violence become re-ignited. “This will threaten lives and will also stifle any form of development or investment because the government will not invest money in a place where there is unrest where that investment might be burned.”

The Inkatha Freedom Party leader in Estcourt, Councillor Bhekithemba Dlamini, rejected the assumption that the turmoil within the IFP is to blame for the political violence in Estcourt. He blamed criminal elements.

“If this was really about the IFP succession, why is there fighting only in Estcourt? People should be fighting everywhere because the IFP is everywhere.”

“This is just criminal activity and the police know who is responsible and should do their jobs and arrest these people,” said Dlamini.

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