NEWS & ANALYSIS

Zuma and Buthelezi appeal for tolerance in KZN

Joint statement by the presidents of the ANC and IFP, Durban, February 13 2009

JOINT STATEMENT OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS, THE HON JACOB ZUMA AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE INKATHA FREEDOM PARTY, THE HON PRINCE MANGOSUTHU BUTHELEZI

The President of African National Congress, Mr Jacob Zuma and the President of the Inkatha Freedom Party, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi met in Durban in the evening of 13 February 2009.

In his statement Mr Jacob Zuma, ANC President said: "We met as the Presidents of the ANC and IFP to discuss matters common to our two parties and those of national interest.

"We had good, friendly and amicable discussions, against the background of the long historical relations between our two parties. We recalled the hard work of the two parties in bringing about peace and stability especially in the province of KwaZulu-Natal and the former PWV region, now known as Gauteng.

"We noted the unfortunate incident that took place in Nongoma on the 1st of February, and condemned the behaviour of those who perpetrated violence. We agreed to work together to ensure peaceful electioneering in the province of KwaZulu-Natal and throughout the country, and to promote mutual respect and understanding amongst members of the ANC and IFP.

"We call upon members of the ANC and IFP to promote the spirit of this meeting, and to exercise restraint and tolerance throughout the election period and beyond.

"We commit ourselves to consolidating and strengthening democracy in our country. We both appreciated the meeting, which was the first since the election of the President of the ANC to this position, and agreed to maintain continuous interaction," concluded Mr Jacob Zuma.

In his statement today, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, IFP President said: "President Mr Jacob Zuma and I met and issued a joint appeal to the people of KwaZulu Natal and South Africa for political tolerance ahead of the upcoming election.

"The recent events at Nongoma where the IFP and the ANC held election rallies concurrently and where their supporters briefly clashed are an example of behaviour that we do not wish to see repeated.

"Mr Zuma and I have also reaffirmed our respect for the right of our respective political parties to campaign everywhere without hindrance.

"We are confident that fifteen years of democracy have gone some way towards curbing political intolerance which rocked the province and the country in the 1980s and early 1990s," concluded Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

Statement issued by the African National Congress and  Inkatha Freedom Party, February 13 2009

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