The war of words between the youth formations of the ANC and the IFP bears to the follies and dangers of youthful exuberance.
Too much blood has been spilt by and against members of these two parties to treat the beatings of the war drums as mere sound and fury, signifying nothing.
That is why it is important that the elders in the two parties start showing leadership and reining in the bravado of the youngsters. Silence at a time like this could be mistaken for encouragement.
We have already seen people injured and others jailed as a result of intolerance of those whose crime is to hold a different political view or to prefer one and not the other leader.
It would also be imprudent to assume that just because the war talk is taking place in KwaZulu-Natal, the rest of us who do not live in that province are spared. As happened in the 1980s and early 1990, it could very easily spill into other provinces once it becomes an accepted way of dealing with political rivals.
This is not to say that we approve of the outdated concept of no-go zones. Everyone must be free to campaign everywhere.
Hopefully their more mature leaders will send the message to the excitable youth, emphasizing the danger and futility of intemperate language.