The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) has taken note of the murder of two councillor candidates over the past weekend: ANC candidate, Siyabonga Mkhize, who was shot in Durban on Friday night; and EFF candidate, Michael Thulani Shangase, who was shot in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday.
We would like to offer our heartfelt condolences to the families of both candidates, as well as their respective political parties.
Following these shocking events, the IFP feels the need to express our concern over an electoral environment that appears to be volatile, unstable and marred by violence. We call on all parties involved to exercise the maximum restraint, and to strive towards a peaceful campaign environment, as we count down to Election Day on 1 November 2021.
Notwithstanding our call for calm, we would also like to appeal to the political parties involved to conduct their own enquiries, to establish whether intra-party tensions might have had any bearing on these tragic events. All internal problems must be resolved swiftly – and peacefully – so as to prevent further unnecessary violence and loss of life.
Under our democratic dispensation, all citizens are free to make political choices, while also being entitled to the right to life, and freedom and security of the person. No candidate should have to forfeit their life in the pursuit of their political beliefs.
The IFP further calls for heightened police visibility to maintain and restore calm. The intelligence services need to identify possible hot spots, step up and prevent yet another potential crisis from spiralling out of control.
Mkhuleko Hlengwa, MP
IFP National Spokesperson
071 111 0539