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Tuesday, 03 February 2009

Azanian planning at its best

In the period around the first "democratic" (sic) elections in South Africa, around 1994, the province of Kwazulu Natal was in a state of virtual civil war. The violent conflict was mainly between the traditionalist Zulu party, the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and the African National Congress (ANC).


The support base of the IFP is mainly in the rural areas, whereas the ANC's tends to lean towards urban areas. Over the years, there have been many incidents of violence between supporters these two parties. Every so often, a politician is the victim of a drive-by shooting, or there are incidents of violence involving stone-throwing, sticks and even assault rifles.


With an election due in 2009, the political temperature is bound to rise, and one would logically expect the politicians involved to keep this in mind. One would expect them to do their planning in such a way that they do not create a situation that could lead to further violence.


One would be wrong. This is Azania. Things don't work that way here. Planning? What planning?


The ANC and IFP both held rallies in Nongoma over the weekend.


Both of them booked the same venue.


On the same day.


And then there are expressions of surprise and outrage all round when the rival supporters wanting to enter the same venue clash. They pretend to be surprised that violence happened. Three members of the ANC were shot shortly after the rally. Stones were thrown at buses transporting ANC members. Each party is now blaming the other party.


Once again, both the IFP and ANC were well aware of the history of violence. There was absolutely no excuse for holding the rallies at the same venue on the same day. It was either shockingly bad planning, deliberate provocation or both.

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