President Cyril Ramaphosa calls for tolerance after ANC, IFP clashes

President Cyril Ramaphosa said they will attack of ANC supporters in KwaZulu-Natal. Picture: GCIS

President Cyril Ramaphosa said they will attack of ANC supporters in KwaZulu-Natal. Picture: GCIS

Published Mar 18, 2024


President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for political tolerance in the elections following a spat between the African National Congress (ANC) and Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) in KwaZulu-Natal over the weekend.

This was after a number of ANC supporters were allegedly attacked by IFP supporters.

This has been denied by the IFP, which said it will report the ANC Women’s League to the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) for making an inflammatory statement.

Ramaphosa on Sunday said they would investigate the attack of ANC supporters in the province. He said what happened was unfortunate and they were against any violence. The police would also investigate the attack.

The ward of words between the ANC and the IFP started at the 110th commemoration of King Dinuzulu kaCetshwayo where MEC for Economic Development Siboniso Duma publicly clashed with traditional Prime Minister to the Zulu Nation and Monarch, Thulasizwe Buthelezi.

Ramaphosa and King Misuzulu kaZwelthini were attending the same event when the incident happened.

During his campaign in the province, Ramaphosa said there must be tolerance by all political parties.

He said they will investigate the attack of ANC supporters after the event .

“What happened (on Saturday) is most unfortunate and we are totally against it. We are investigating it and the police are looking into it,” Ramaphosa said.

“And as I have said often those who try to take our democracy for granted and try to destroy it there will be consequences. We will make sure we follow up anybody who tries to derail this democracy we built after such a long struggle.”

Ramaphosa said the ANC abhors violence and the he would not allow violence to disrupt the elections. He called on leaders of political parties to ensure they rein in their members to prevent violence.

There was no place for violence in a democratic state, voters must be allowed to choose their parties without any fear or intimidation, he said.

“As the ANC we abhor violence. We are totally against violence and we want these elections to be run on a non-violent basis where the electorate, where people who want to vote are able to exercise their right and their choice without being coerced, without being threatened and without any fear whatsoever,” he said.

“We will ensure as the ANC together with the ANC-led government there is safety from now leading up to the elections. There is no place for violence in a democratic South Africa that we have become. We call on all South Africans to be totally against violence and should not participate in any violent activity,” Ramaphosa said.

“We call on leaders of various political parties to call on their members to desist from using violence, even articulating violent written statements, that should not be happening at all because we want our people to be free and to make their own choices.”

The ANC and the ANC Women’s League said they want the police to investigate the attack of its members.

They said after a successful event they were disappointed their members were attacked by members of the IFP who were bused in from a hostel.

The IFP denied this and said there was no hostel in Zululand.

It said it would welcome any investigation by the police, but said the conduct of Duma was an assault on the Zulu monarch and South Africa’s democracy.

“Let us be clear — the IFP condemns all forms of violence. We welcome any police investigation that would lead to apprehending the perpetrators in this unfortunate incident, and we wish anyone injured a speedy recovery,” said the IFP.

It said it will lodge a formal with the IEC against the ANCWL.

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