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1999

UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE

CONCERNING ANC DISREGARD FOR POLITICAL TOLERANCE

STATEMENT BY ANNELIZÉ VAN WYK as ACTING NATIONAL SECRETARY

The UDM is extremely concerned about the recent rise of political intolerance and, particularly, the acts of violence being carried out against our members.

Last weekend, we saw the stoning of UDM canvassers in Shakaville.  On Tuesday, ANC supporters disrupted a UDM rally shortly before Bantu Holomisa was to address the people.  Mr. Holomisa prudently chose to cancel his speech and disperse the crowd so as to avoid violent confrontation.  In the Western Cape, political intolerance has been on the rise since January when seven well-known ANC members were arrested for the murder of a UDM supporter.  Yesterday in Langa, a petrol bomb exploded in the home of a UDM leader, shortly after two ANC councillors announced their defection to the UDM, and the most recent incident occurred only moments ago when ANC supporters stormed a UDM rally at the University of Cape Town.  After having his requests to practice political tolerance ignored, Mr. Holomisa was again forced to abandon a rally out of concern for public safety.

It is interesting to note that these attacks on UDM supporters have coincided with the recent verbal attacks directed at our party by speakers at ANC rallies.  It is no coincidence that the ANC has been the common denominator in every inter-party conflict our country has seen, and it is not without reason that many people who support the UDM are too afraid for their homes and families to do so openly.  How can anyone deem this election free and fair when so many areas in South Africa are subject to this ANC reign of terror?

While we appreciate the ANC acknowledging the political threat that we pose to the one-party state, we call on their leaders to do so in a more responsible manner.  As the majority party, it is the ANC’s duty to uphold the democratic principles of our constitution and, especially at this point in time, to enforce South Africa’s Electoral Act.  Should the ANC’s apathy towards political tolerance continue, it will only serve to further undermine the credibility of its government and do so at the cost of many lives.

Enquiries:
Ms Annelizé van Wyk
Acting  National Secretary

27 May 1999

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