UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE

 

GLARING HYPOCRISY AT TOLERANCE CEREMONY

STATEMENT BY KINGSLEY MASEMOLA, MPL
UDM LEADER IN THE NORTHERN PROVINCE

The Polokwane Municipality hosted a Torch Lighting Ceremony in support of the World Conference Against Racism, on the 21 August 2001.

What was promising to be a unifying and reconciliatory effort ended up being the worst blatant display of intolerance, racism in reverse and an act of self-sabotage.

The most disappointing aspect of the programme was the glaring discrimination against other political parties and organs of civil society. ANC speaker after speaker monopolised the podium giving an impression of some kind of ANC rally.

The only exception was Rev Pakati whose speech seemed to be the only well prepared and most stimulating. The rest had nothing more to say, as only one speaker was sufficient to drive their message home.

Even the mere rendition of the national anthem was a complete disaster in that only the African version was sung cementing the days' string of disastrous events of hypocrisy of the day.

Racism, xenophobia and intolerance are national scourges and the cheap political point scoring attempts by members of the ruling party is a silly abuse of state resources and opportunistic politicking and should be nipped in the bud and be crushed out of society.

This unfortunate state of affairs is disappointing to say the least. Not when the mayor of Polokwane, the mayor of Capricorn Municipality and MEC in the premier's office were in attendance. It is worse if one considers the object of the day being to promote tolerance, reconciliation and to make a stand against racism and xenophobia.

The United Democratic Movement is greatly embarrassed beyond measure and immensely concerned about the deteriorating inter-party relations with what happened and call on the governing party to walk its talk.

To the people of the Northern Province, we repeat and reiterate our clarion call for true reconciliation, true tolerance and to rally behind the emergence of a true non-racial and united South African nationalism and patriotism.

Enquiries:
Rev Kingsley Masemola, MPL
Leader of the UDM in the Northern Province

Pietersburg
21 August 2001