Durban - President Jacob Zuma urged political parties in KwaZulu Natal on Tuesday to work with the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) to ensure that peaceful elections take place.
“Everyone has a right to support a party of their choice. That is the freedom we fought for,” Zuma said in a speech prepared for delivery at Zululand University.
He said the people of the province had the freedom to select political parties of their choice.
People and political parties should enjoy their freedom, since KwaZulu-Natal had experienced much violence during apartheid, said Zuma.
“Only a few years ago, this province was engulfed by a wave of internecine violence that was fomented by the apartheid state security apparatus in order to prolong their reign.”
Determination and political will were needed for the political parties in the province to reach a consensus and end the violence.
“We still recall the pain suffered by the people of KwaZulu-Natal, who had to live through horrific episodes of hit squads that attacked townships and villages willy nilly.”
Zuma also said South Africa was a better place to live in today, than it was before 1994.
“The people of Pietermaritzburg, Hammarsdale, Ngwelezane, Shobashobane, Trustfeed, kwaMakhutha and many other areas know what we are talking about.”
Returning to the theme of violence, the president said Zululand University was one of the places that experienced violence during apartheid.
“This very campus, if it could talk, would tell stories of some incidents of violence that were perpetrated here before 1994.”
The achievement of peace and stability in the province, under difficult conditions, was one of the country's most notable achievements.
“The entire transition was under threat. The people of KwaZulu-Natal must never take this achievement for granted,” Zuma said.
“As we prepare for the elections next month therefore, we urge the people of KwaZulu-Natal not to allow themselves to be provoked towards senseless violence.”