Rein in the rowdies

Instead of feckless clucking about democratic principles and political maturity, it's time the ANC's leaders took a leaf from the book of their erstwhile chairman and start preaching tolerance in earnest.

Instead of feckless clucking about democratic principles and political maturity, it's time the ANC's leaders took a leaf from the book of their erstwhile chairman and start preaching tolerance in earnest.

The party that held the commanding heights during and after the liberation struggle is now in danger of losing its moral authority.

Cooler heads may mumble on about its traditional democratic values and tolerance, but that counts for little until the ruling party's top brass is seen to control the reckless loudmouths who now speak on its behalf and preach intolerance and violence.

The talk of violence, mayhem and murder now associated with ANC rallies must come to an end before the party destroys itself and this marvelous experiment in democracy we have all been part of since 1994.

Sure, we expected opposition politicians of every stripe to be concerned, but now even the cops and the Independent Electoral Commission are worried. Seems that everyone but the participants are calling for for cool heads, tolerance and restraint.

Unless Jacob Zuma and Kgalema Mothlante are willing to gamble away all the goodwill their party has accumulated over decades, they must immediately show they have the political muscle and will to rein in the rowdies.

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