EFF accuses ANC of KZN political intolerance
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) claims that it has been subjected to violent political intolerance in KwaZulu-Natal by the ANC.
In an 11-page submission to the Moerane Commssion of Inquiry investigating political killings in KwaZulu-Natal on Friday‚ the EFF accused the ANC of subjecting it to violent political intolerance since its formation five years ago because they felt threatened by it.
"Not only have we been refused public venues like community halls‚ sports grounds‚ and open spaces‚ at times our members‚ merely for wearing red berets have been victims of gruesome assaults‚" said the EFF in its statement to the commission.
The statement also listed 21 incidents in which the EFF members were allegedly assaulted‚ threatened and shot at by ANC members in various parts of the province.
They included an incident in January 2014‚ where a mob of ANC supporters led by former president Jacob Zuma’s son‚ Edward‚ blocked EFF supporters‚ including the party’s leader‚ Julius Malema‚ on their way to open a house the party had built for one of its supporters in Nkandla.
During the incident‚ police had to use teargas to separate the supporters of the two parties.
"What stands out is the fact that reporting cases to the law enforcement agencies yields no fruit. There are never arrests or any resolutions of cases. The other outstanding thing is that we have suffered from the ANC violence; we’ve experienced them as a politically intolerant people who find it so easy to hurt black people‚" said the EFF.
The EFF said ANC leaders who come before the commission had portrayed the ruling party as a leader of society.
"Since 1994 it is a fact that they have been in charge of the state apparatuses. It therefore follows that they have failed to resolve violence through the police‚ and we are of the opinion that it is because it is perpetrated by themselves."
The party said another incident that raises the party’s political influence over the police relates to the FeesMustFall movement.
"The violent repression and use of force by the police may have left behind yet another youth generation whose politicisation is through violence. Is it not true that it was the resistance of students‚ in their united mass‚ that brought the ANC kicking and screaming to drop the upfront payment and fee increases in 2015? Today the sacrifice they paid by putting their bodies in danger is overlooked and we are told free education was Zuma’s gift."
The EFF also questioned the commission’s investigation of "political killings" and asked if it was possible that the commission may have posed the wrong question.
"Is it possible that we are really not dealing with the exceptional issue or even an exceptional province? Of course‚ we are aware that of all places in the country‚ KZN politicians‚ from councillors to provincial government officials‚ are guarded by men armed with guns.
"Nowhere in the country is this more widespread than in KZN. However‚ is it isolated to politicians or is there generally a proliferation of guns and gun-carrying guards for all ordinary people presiding over projects with some money? Is it not true that protection with guns is found with local business people who run taxis‚ taverns‚ supermarkets? Is it not true that‚ in general‚ a gun in KZN seems intertwined with masculine identity and is generally accessible?"
ANC KZN leader Sihle Zikalala didn’t respond to queries.