SPEECH: Holomisa on political violence in KwaZulu-Natal
His Majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini
The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Electoral Officer (PEO), Mr Mawethu Mosery
Religious and faith leaders of various formations within the province of KwaZulu-Natal
Leaders of Political Parties
Members of the Provincial Multi Party Task Team
We wish to thank His Majesty, King Goodwill Zwelithini, for calling this meeting to discuss ways and means to arrest the re-emerging political violence within the province. We all share the concern expressed by His Majesty about the impact the violence has on the citizens and the economy of KwaZulu-Natal.
We all too clearly remember the "no-go zones", the murder and mayhem we witnessed in the nineties. The UDM lost very many political activists during that time and not only in KwaZulu-Natal - may their souls rest in peace. We had hoped to close that chapter and yet we gathered here today to talk about the impact of political violence and try to find solutions.
Within our diversity as humans there are differences in perceptions, needs, values, power-relations, desires, goals, opinions and many other components of human interaction that often lead to conflict.
People often choose to feel threatened by the mere existence of a differing point of view or they let the differences they have with someone define their entire relationship. Conflicts can arise when we ignore the needs of others, our own needs, or the needs of a relationship. Political parties must at all times counsel its members against them resorting to violence as a means to resolve conflict.
Another essential ingredient of conflict is power. How we define power, and how we use it greatly influences the number and nature of conflicts within our relationships and the way we deal with those conflicts.
The worst aspect of violence is that it annihilates reasoning. Violence can lead to the atrophy of philosophy and thus the death of democratic politics.
We all have a responsibility to be critical of violence, to condemn it in all it shapes, whether it be physical or mental.
A debate on violence is a positive action and should be encouraged and engaged in at all times and at all levels of society - even in times of peace, lest we fall into the quagmire of violence.
The United Democratic Movement (UDM) calls on the leaders and members of all political parties, including those of the UDM, to sit around a table to discuss their differences peacefully wherever you find yourselves. Maybe His Majesty and church leaders can mediate in this conflict - the National Council of Churches did such a sterling job in Marikana.
For those families who have suffered losses or were injured in any fashion as a result of the violence in KwaZulu-Natal, our hearts and prayers are with you during this time of need.
I thank you
Message delivered on behalf of Mr Bantu Holomisa, MP (UDM President) at the meeting with His Majesty, King Goodwill Zwelithini, the Provincial Electoral Officer Mr Mawethu Mosery and the Provincial Multi Party Task Team of KwaZulu-Natal at the Hilton Hotel in Durban on 25 October 2012