DA calls on IEC to quell 'political violence'

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has called on the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to act and quell political violence and intimidation, the party said on Thursday.

“At the meeting of the IEC’s party liaison committee, our representative, Mike Moriarty, issued a call to all parties and the IEC to act urgently to quell the current escalation of political violence and intimidation.”

This comes after two DA members were assaulted at Mogoba informal settlement east of Johannesburg on Monday, allegedly by a group claiming to be African National Congress (ANC) members.

According to the DA, its Etwatwa branch chairperson, Collen Mdluli, and fellow activist Thokazani Nhleko were hit with axes and shovels. In the attack, Mdluli’s house was also burnt down leaving him, his wife and children homeless.

“The violent attack yesterday [Monday] on two DA activists by a gang of men known to be ANC members and supporters is a brutal reminder of the ruling party’s intolerance of opposition,” said DA leader Helen Zille when she visited the area on Tuesday.

Apparently Mdluli and Nhleko were outside Mdluli’s shack when they were accosted.

“These matters have been duly reported to the police and we expect arrests, but this is no comfort to those wounded in an assault and those whose sole possessions have been lost in a fire,” said Moriarty in a statement.

He warned that things were likely to get worse.

“We have seen an escalation in tensions between the two major ANC factions. We are aware that police are monitoring the situation in the run-up to the elections,” he said.

Moriarty called on parties and the IEC to urgently commit themselves now to call the “thugs” to order and expel those fomenting intimidation and violence.—Sapa


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