We are not bullies?–?IFP

2014-04-20 15:00

As the IFP mourned one of its members in Ulundi, who was allegedly murdered by the National Freedom Party (NFP), this paper ran an article (“Ballot bullies”, April 6 2014) that explored a recent research report by the Community Agency for Social Enquiry (Case).

The agency interviewed 24 representatives of various political parties on their experiences of political intimidation.

Asked to identify the perpetrator, every party named the ANC except, of course, the ANC itself.

Although “respondents within the ANC highlighted the fact that forms of intimidation also occur inside the ANC”.

Even the ANC’s coalition partner in KwaZulu-Natal, the NFP, fingered the ANC as the perpetrator of political violence and intimidation.

The identity of the “ballot bully” is therefore obvious.

Why, then, did the graphic attached to the article superimpose the IFP’s logo on to a fist under the headline “Ballot bullies”?

The report makes it patently clear that areas traditionally dominated by the IFP are pockets of relative tolerance for all political parties.

It also makes it clear that the ANC is involved in most of the intimidation and violence around elections.

In a clear transgression of the SA Press Council rules, the IFP was not afforded a right of reply before this damaging and erroneous article was published.

Now, even a belated right of reply will not erase from the collective memory that defamatory image of our party as a so-called ballot bully.

We therefore call for urgent and substantive action to be taken on the many forms of intimidation practised by the ANC, as highlighted in the Case report.

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