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In the negotiation phase to determine the future of the multiparty governing structures it would be normal that there should be a starting point for each of the parties. That is the whole point of negotiating.

The facts are that no party obtained a majority and that there was a clear reason for the previous majority party to have substantially lost the majority it used to have.

Under the circumstances, you can understand that both the media and non-elected quasi-politicians would stir the pot to try to influence public opinion one way or the other. The excessive use (or misuse) of the word “demands”, when there were no demands, did not serve a positive purpose, especially when there was an obvious new need for maximum co-operation where previously there was conflict and contestation.

What South Africa needs — especially because of its diversity — is tolerance (not weakness), understanding and fairness. Unfortunately these traits are not yet available in abundance.

VA Volker
Pietermaritzburg

The FM welcomes concise letters from readers. They can be sent to fmmail@fm.co.za

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