IEC calls for calm prior to KZN polls
THE Independent Electoral Commission in KwaZulu-Natal has called for tolerance among political parties.
The IEC believes that stability between political parties as well as internally within such parties is important for the province.
Provincial electoral officer Mawethu Mosery said yesterday that the commission had always been worried about political intolerance among parties, whether it was ahead, during or after elections.
"Where there's political intolerance, irrespective of who are the role players, we always have a problem as the IEC," he said.
Mosery said such instability would have an impact on peace during the elections and in the province as a whole.
Of particular concern was the alleged intolerance between the ANC and Cope in Clermont.
On three occasions recently, there have been clashes between supporters of these parties, with the latest incident forcing the Cope branch leaders to sleep at a local police station.
The leaders claimed they were forced out of their homes, allegedly by ANC supporters armed with spears and pangas, who had gathered at a "kangaroo court" in the veld.
"Law enforcement agencies must act decisively on the tensions brewing between the ANC and Cope, mainly in Clermont.
"They must be visible. I believe that if they start intervening now, it would curb even the slightest chance of violence," said Mosery.
He hinted that the province's local government elections were likely to be held between March and June next year.
He said those elections would be more interesting in KZN as wards had been increased.