ANC slates killing of its members as polls loom

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has condemned what it called the "growing culture of political intolerance and high levels of intimidation" in the province.

The party told the media in Durban yesterday that the recent killings of Inkosi Mbongeleni Zondi, of Msinga, and Youth League chairman, S'thembiso Cele, in Umgababa were worrying.

"Inkosi Daba Mthembu of Msinga has survived two assassination attempts.

"Late last year, unknown men tried to ambush him as he was driving out of his home.

"Early this month, another attempt against him was thwarted by police. Currently there is a serious threat on his life," said ANC provincial secretary, Senzo Mchunu.

He said they viewed Zondi's and Cele's assassinations and the attack on Mthembu as an attempt to cripple the ANC.

"This is an attempt to instil fear in our supporters as we head into these crucial elections," said Mchunu.

He said the party, however, believes that the political environment in KwaZulu-Natal is "still largely conducive for holding successful elections".

The ANC called on security agencies to be on high alert and to make every necessary effort to curb instances of violence and intimidation by a minority who have yet to embrace the principles of democratic campaigning.

"The ANC views the killings as a shame in a democratic country where people have a constitutional right to free, voluntary association," said Mchunu.

He appealed to political parties to adhere to the constitutional dictates during the elections.

"There is no place in a democratic South Africa for political intimidation or violence.

"All parties need to work with the SAPS and the IEC to prevent bad behaviour and to ensure that we do not lose more lives as the election campaign intensifies."