The Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation has reminded the ruling party that violence has never paid anyone or country good. Thus, it rests on the party’s shoulders to put its house in order and also deal with the legitimacy of choosing leaders.
The Centre made this known in response to the pyramid of violence that rocked Tshwane metropolitan municipality this week.
It also urged the country’s leadership to heed to the cries and yearnings of the masses by responding to community concerns on time, rather than offering shallow condemnations of violence once things turn out badly.
“The tendency of political leaders to only focus on condemning the violence and simply placing the blame on those directly responsible‚ is extremely disturbing.
The focus on only criminal and political opportunists shifts the attention away from the legitimate concerns of communities and feeds into the mounting anger and frustration.
While previously such violent protests have mainly been in direct response to service delivery failures‚ this time it is linked to the election process.
Frustration about the failure of the service delivery is now impacting on the legitimacy of our system of choosing political leaders,” it said in a statement on Wednesday.
The organization also attributed the recent violence making waves in the country to South Africa’s currency of exchange when addressing socio-economic rights.
It added that if this ‘currency’ is not changed‚ it will have dire consequences for the country’s democracy and realization of the rights that so many fought and died for.
The centre therefore called on political leadership‚ the South African Police Service (SAPS) and community leaders “to take concerted action and be held accountable to ensure that frustrations does not spill into violence that hurt our communities and the most marginalized of our society.”
Violence In Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality
Violence flared on Monday morning in Tshwane metropolitan municipality following the announcement of Thoko Didiza as the ANC’s Tshwane mayoral candidate ahead of the municipal elections in August.
In the course of the violence, impoverished residents of the townships set ablaze about 20 vehicles and countless shops were looted by the grieved protesters.
It was found that the ANC’s support in Tshwane in the 2011 local elections stood at 55% and the DA at 38.6%. In 2014 national and provincial election, both the ANC and the DA’s support dropped compared with 2011, to 50.9% and 31%, respectively. The EFF on the other hand, got 11% after marching to the election ring only a year earlier.
It is glaring that the ANC has merely paid lip service to the deepening problems in its ranks and may be forced to govern in a coalition, or face the outright loss of more than one metro.