UDM condemns political violence and abuse of State resources by ANC statement by Mr Bantu Holomisa, MP (UDM President) (2 February 2009)

The UDM condemns the incidents of violence which have occurred in the past few days in KZN and which appear to be linked to political campaigning. We extend our sympathies to the families of those who have been injured or killed.

The ANC needs to re-assess its deliberate strategy of holding competing rallies with their leader as close as possible to the major events of other political parties. They did this when the UDM held a major rally in Umtata last month, also with the recent COPE rally in Port Elizabeth, and now with the IFP rally this weekend. This strategy seems deliberately designed to heighten political temperatures.

The ruling party exacerbates the situation by abusing state resources. It is reported that the ANC MEC for Safety in KZN gave the order for police to fire rubber bullets on IFP supporters. Such political interference in police command decisions is a clear abuse of power. In the same vein we condemn the abuse of state resources for ruling party campaign purposes. Yesterday two military helicopters were used to convey Mr Zuma and his cohorts to the ANC rally. Mr Zuma is not the President of the country - how do they justify this? If the ANC President insists on arriving in a helicopter the ANC should hire private helicopters and preserve the image of the SANDF as a non-partisan state institution. The resources of the state, especially the security forces, must be seen to be serving all the citizens and not used in support of one particular political party.