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Ramaphosa urges parties not to resort to violence during or after elections

Cyril Ramaphosa has called on political parties to respect the decisions taken by the electorate.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s concludes his two-day Western Cape visit with a door-door campaign in Khayelitsha township. Picture: Xolani Koyana/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged political parties not to resort to violence during or after the Local Government Elections.

Speaking at an African National Congress (ANC) rally in Khayelitsha yesterday, Ramaphosa told reporters it has been concerning to watch a campaign marred by politically-motivated murders.

Ramaphosa has called on political parties to respect the decisions taken by the electorate.

He says defeated organisations, including the ANC must accept a loss and move on.

"We should accept that people have given their voice, they have spoken democratically and those who have not succeeded must wait for the next five years to come back and fight another battle."

Ramaphosa said victorious parties must not be arrogant and focus on delivering for their constituencies.

This week, the deputy president said those responsible for a spate of political killings ahead of elections are trying to destabilise the ruling party.

More than a dozen people have been murdered, most of them ANC members in KwaZulu-Natal, in the run up to the polls.

Ramaphosa condemned the killings, adding some are trying to weaken the governing party.

"It's quite clear to me that there's some political agenda and this agenda is aimed at weakening the ANC, destabilising the ANC because the ANC has been at the receiving end of all these killings that have been taking place."

When the number of ANC leaders killed in Kwazulu-Natal hit 10, the provincial party instituted an investigation to find out if the killings have anything to do with internal divisions.

But Ramaphosa believes there are other forces at play.

"It's quite clear that there's a hidden hand that's destabilising the ANC, that's aimed at derailing the ANC's intention to go to victory."

The provincial party has since asked security cluster ministers to step in, while pleading with the Luthuli House to also intervene.

While Ramaphosa couldn't say how the party will assist, he said there will be a strong intervention.

WORST INTRA-PARTY CONFLICTS AND VIOLENCE

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says instances of intra-party conflict and violence have been worse this year, compared to previous elections.

The IEC has launched its Western Cape results centre at Century City.

It says it's ready for the local government elections and is fully prepared for any eventuality, including possible violent protests.

The IEC's vice-chairperson Terry Tselane says this year's seen the worst intra-party conflict and violence yet.

"This year we've experienced quite a number of incidences where, within political parties, there were conflicts that we've no' experienced in the past."

Tselane says the commission will look into addressing this problematic phenomenon going forward. The IEC is also preparing for any possible disruptions on voting day.

The Drakenstein Municipality has been identified as a hotspot for large-scale violent protests and Saps and the military will be on special deployment duty should the need arise.

Langa, Du Noon, Mbekweni and Oudtshoorn are some of the areas that have been identified as possible service delivery protest hotspots.

To view EWN's story map locating political attacks, click here.