The Electoral Commission (IEC) wishes to strongly condemn the propagation and prevalence of political intolerance and violence that manifested itself in some parts of the country between supporters of political parties. The Commission is concerned and dismayed by the signs of disregard for the freedom of association and the right to assemble for political campaigning, which was demonstrated in KZN. The IEC also wishes to express the need for political parties to uphold the principles of a mature democracy by ensuring unhindered public participation during campaigning.
Furthermore, the IEC is working very hard to create and sustain an environment conducive to free and fair elections and calls upon political parties to convey this important message to their supporters. It is not in the interest of the successful delivery of the forthcoming elections to resolve differences through violence. The value of peace and tolerance among political parties cannot be overemphasised.
Concerted efforts have been made by the IEC to communicate with the political parties in terms of managing expectations from one another in preparation for the elections. Intervention teams have been identified to be deployed to the various provinces in order to assist with on-site mediation and resolution of disputes.
We therefore call upon all political leaders, party cadres, organs of the civil society and the media to work together in cultivating a spirit and environment of peace, security and tolerance as we enter this exciting political season on our political calendar.
Our message as the IEC to all South Africans at large is that; we are a winning nation and have a track record of cooperation on matters of democracy development, let us commit to building peace.