'Peace must be promoted'

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

The Human Rights Commission has entered the fray between the ANC Youth League and IFP Youth Brigade after a week of inflammatory rhetoric in the run-up to the elections.

The war of words erupted after the ruling party's supporters were assaulted on their way to a rally in Nongoma a week ago.

The two parties' youth leaders, Julius Malema and Thulasizwe Buthelezi, have been at each other's throats since the Nongoma incident.

The commission now wants to discuss the spat with the IEC.

Sowetan has learnt that the IEC and HRC will soon engage both youth formations as they believe the two organisations have behaved in a way that does not promote peace.

HRC chief executive Tseliso Thipanyane said they are concerned about the rhetoric used by the political parties.

"We are worried about the way political parties conduct themselves in the run-up to the elections," he said.

Thipanyane confirmed that the commission's chairman, Jody Kollapen is handling the matter.

Malema has vowed that the ANC will be returning to Nongoma and campaign for votes in the IFP president Mangosuthu Buthelezi's backyard and even recruit his children.

However, IFP youth leader Buthelezi challenged Malema to "bring it on".

"What the ANC has seen so far is a Sunday school picnic compared to what is to follow if they continue to provoke our members, " said Buthelezi.

He then labelled Malema "a loose canon on the deck".

IFP president Mangosuthu Buthelezi was also annoyed by Malema.

"I want to express my extreme condemnation of these derogatory statements. It is clear that Malema does not understand the unspoken rules of politics."

Provincial electoral officer Mawethu Mosery said they are also worried about the climate of political intolerance.