KZN political parties commit to tolerance ahead of 2019 elections

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Political parties that will be contesting the 2019 general elections in KwaZulu-Natal have committed themselves to be tolerant during the build up to the elections.

The parties were attending a meeting to resuscitate the Multi-Party Political Intervention Committee in Durban.

The committee was initially launched in 2011 to promote political tolerance, peace and a free and fair environment for elections in the province.

Leaders of political parties have called on their counterparts to preach political tolerance to their members. There are over 500 political parties registered with the Independent Electoral Commission to contest the 2019 general elections.

The Committee was chaired by the KwaZulu-Natal Community Safety and Liaison MEC, Mxolisi Kaunda, with Provincial Chief Electoral Officer, Mawethu Mosery as Deputy Chairperson.

The committee consists of leaders of political parties as well as the Acting KZN Police Commissioner, Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi. KwaZulu-Natal IEC head Mawethu Mosery says they want to ensure that there is political stability in the province.

“Our focus is positive in this program. We want political stability in KwaZulu-Natal. especially during. time of campaigning towards the general elections. We want to encourage commitment of your selves as political parties and the commitment of the broader society and citizens of this province , let’s achieve political stability that is unquestionable,” Mawethu Mosery says.

A number of political leaders and municipal officials have been killed in KwaZulu-Natal in the last five years. However, few arrests have been made in relation to the killings.

On Thursday, Police Minister Bheki Cele confirmed that one person has been arrested for the killing of former ANC Youth League secretary-general, Sindiso Magaqa. He died in September last year at a Durban hospital after he was shot in July.

Acting KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Sihle Zikalala, has commended the arrest of suspects involved in the murder of political leaders.

“We thank the fact that the inter-ministerial task team reported about progress that is being made in the investigations around political related killings . it has been reported that some have been arrested in relation to the killing of Mr Sindiso Magaqa as well as Mr Qashana Mchunu and others.”

Political violence in KwaZulu-Natal led to the establishment of the Moerane Commission which was appointed by Premier Willies Mchunu to investigate political killings.

The commission’s report is still to be released to the public. Zikalala says government is committed to implementing the recommendations of the Moerane commission.

“We must commit and guarantee to all political parties that are gathered here that soon the report will.be presented in the legislature and will be made public . but further than.that as government of KwaZulu-Natal we have pledged and committed our selves to ensure that all resolutions and recommendations from.The commission are implemented to the latter. We must see the full.implementation of the report of the Moerane Commission,” Zikalala adds.

Political parties have also been reminded to pay their deposits so that they can participate in the elections.

The IEC says the term of office for the current legislature and parliament ends on May 7 2019. The general election is expected to take place within 90 days after that, from May 8 to August 8 2019.