EFF, IFP pledge to protect each other

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iol news pic Malema and Buthelezi

Giordano Stolley/Sapa

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema and Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi field questions at a joint press conference in Durban. Malema apologised to Buthelezi for remarks he made while he was with the ANC Youth League. Picture Giordano Stolley/SAPA

Durban - The EFF and IFP have agreed to protect each other during campaigning ahead of this year's elections, they said on Monday.

“Although there are fundamental differences between the two organisations with regards to what is best for South Africa, they have agreed that it is more than crucial for parties in opposition to work together to ensure that... (the) national elections are free, fair and just,” they said in a joint statement.

“Consequently, the two organisations have agreed that they will keep channels of communication open.”

A two-hour meeting was held between Economic Freedom Fighters' leader Julius Malema and Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi in Durban on Monday.

Malema apologised to Buthelezi for remarks he made while he was with the ANC Youth League.

“I apologise for unfortunate remarks that were made at the time,” he said.

Malema did not state specifically to which remarks he referred.

He said the EFF had sought the meeting with the IFP for some time.

A number of other issues were also discussed.

The parties said they shared the view that the role of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) be discussed.

“The allocation of elections resources by the IEC and other public institutions always favours the ruling party, and this undermines the principle of free and fair elections.

“Municipal by-laws, which regulate how political party posters should be posted in various municipalities, should be amended to allow all political parties to canvass for votes freely,” they said.

The EFF and IFP also agreed that tribalism should not be a tool for political mobilisation.

They accused the African National Congress, particularly in KwaZulu-Natal, of using tribalism and said it should be opposed. They said people should be educated on how governments were chosen for policy positions they advocated and not for the language they spoke.

The parties agreed that the SABC should provide a consistent platform for all political parties during the election campaign, and should cover all party manifesto launches.

Sapa


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