Pledge signing doesn’t stop the nasty comments

2009-03-03 00:00

Barely minutes after signing the pledge to uphold the electoral code of conduct for the 2009 elections, some political parties couldn’t help sniping at each other.

ANC provincial chairman Dr Zweli Mkhize mentioned the party’s difficulty in Nongoma recently when it had to change venues three times and the violence suffered by ANC members at the hands of IFP supporters.

He noted with regret that IFP members were also killed, but said the ANC was not involved. He said his party will co-operate with the IFP and the police in their investigations.

Congress of the People (Cope) representative Nkosinathi Mkhize recited a litany of complaints alleging ANC harassment, inclduing disruption of its meetings and its members being chased away from certain areas.

The IFP’s premier candidate, Zanele Magwaza-Msibi, expressed disappointment at the ANC’s remarks at the pledge ceremony, saying Zweli Mkhize’s words had caused Cope to respond the way it did. “It only takes one party to upset the balance and I can assure you the IFP will not be that party,” she promised.

The Reverend Hawu Mbatha of Nadeco had a dig at parties who turn up at churches during election time. “There is a stampede of political leaders rushing to churches … they are only there to abuse the church for voters, he said.

The Minority Front’s (MF) Amichand Rajbansi chose to vent his frustration at the media, saying that six months before any election there is a flood of anti-MF letters in the media.

There were once 95 letters from all over KZN and an investigation revealed that all 95 letters came from one party’s office.

He said his party’s posters are always pulled down and that he has a message for the culprits: “For every one you pull down, I’ve got 10 more.”

The leader of the Catholic Church, Cardinal Wilfrid Napier, said that while he had heard some rather charged speeches, he was reminded of the adage that when you point a finger at someone else, three fingers are pointing back at you.

However, he congratulated the parties for coming forward and signing the pledge, and said that perhaps airing their concerns had helped to clear the air.

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