Election Monitoring Network
Press Release
6th
May 2011
BACKGROUND
EMN is a civil society initiative which monitors conflic...
• Despite the small number of individual incidents, some trends do jump out – in
particular, that eThekwini (Durban) and B...
Table 1: Top 6 Municipalities for Total Intensity of Incidents Reported
Municipality No. of serious
incidents
Total intens...
It is clear from detailed reports from field workers that there is an overlap between the
issue of service delivery and th...
The last 11 days to E-Day could potentially result in increased tensions, especially as
the campaign becomes more heated. ...
Addendum 1
Ficksburg Report -17/18th
April 2011
Ficksburg, in the Free State, boasted little political significance until ...
The deceased, Mr Tatane, a former teacher, was well known in the community for
amongst other good deeds, his tutoring, fre...
deployed to the area as a pastoral presence. There is some suspicion that this amounts
to no more than the party trying to...
Addendum 2 – Intensity Chart
Rating Physical Violence Examples Other Examples Actions
9 • Murder on a grand scale accompan...
7 • An isolated incident of homicide accompanied by
equivocation by political leaders.
• Multiple incidents of homicide in...
4 • Displays of firearms.
• Physical assualt short of deliberate attempts to kill or
seriously injure.
• Serious property ...
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Press Release 6 May 2011 FINAL

Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Source: www.slideshare.net


Transcripts - Press Release 6 May 2011 FINAL

  • 1. Election Monitoring Network Press Release 6th May 2011 BACKGROUND EMN is a civil society initiative which monitors conflict and violence occurring during election campaigns in South Africa. The national HUB is based in Cape Town where EMN’s patron, the Archbishop of the Anglican Church, resides. EMN has also established a national SMS Hotline to track incidents of violence and conflict nationally. The eminent persons are appointed to respond to crises where appropriate. We have been able to leverage extensive support from the IEC at National and Provincial levels, enabling EMN to complement the work the IEC is doing at a formal level to reduce levels of conflict and violence and provide credibility for the elections. The program has been fully functional for just over one and a half months. This press release presents our understanding of the Ficksburg incident and the first substantial findings based on our research about the situation on the ground leading up to the 2011 Local Government Elections. THE FICKSBURG INCIDENT EMN responded to the news of the death of Andries Tatane by sending two delegations to Ficksburg to provide support to his family and the people of Meqheleng. The Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, The Most Rev’d Thabo Makgoba, visited the area and ensured that civil society engaged at the highest level – providing a national pastoral character to interventions. Father Peter-John Pearson, one of the eminent persons of EMN and Director of the Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office, provided additional support and his report is included as Addendum 1 to this press release. PRELIMINARY FINDINGS AT THE END OF APRIL Summary • As with our monitoring programme for the 2009 election, the number of individual reports of incidents for this election is low. This may demonstrate that we have relatively peaceful campaigns, with a number of isolated, but occasionally grave, incidents. Page 1
  • 2. • Despite the small number of individual incidents, some trends do jump out – in particular, that eThekwini (Durban) and Buffalo City (East London) are particular problem areas. • Although disputes between parties have, unsurprisingly, emerged as a problem since the election campaign proper began, the prevalence and seriousness of ANC internal selection disputes and incidents related to service delivery have not declined since the finalisation of party lists. • The issues of selection and service delivery problems are often directly linked. • Beyond reporting of incidents, EMN fieldworkers on the ground engage in preventative activity which prevents potential hotspots turning into actual trouble spots. Amount of Data Received As in previous elections, the total number of reports received is not large. Since the monitoring programme began in mid-March, EMN has only 36 incident reports that are serious and detailed enough to be used for quantitative analysis. This is undoubtedly a snapshot of what is actually happening on the ground, however we would be reasonably confident that the more serious incidents are almost universally being captured. This reflects that elections in South Africa have been, and continue to be, largely peaceful, albeit with isolated cases of grave violence or misconduct. However, we are concerned that we are receiving only a snapshot of what is happening on the ground, particular at middle levels of the Intensity Scale (see Addendum 2). Greater public awareness of EMN and how to report incidents would undoubtedly result in more reports being made, and allow us to gain a more comprehensive picture of the situation on the ground. In particular, we appeal for greater support from the media and civil society to publicise our SMS hotline, 33830 (messages cost R1.50). Members of the public can use this number to make EMN aware of election-related violence or other breaches of the Code of Conduct. Statistical Analysis of Data Despite the small number of data items, the following tables reflect our analysis of hotspots; the progressive increase in incidents; evolving patterns of major causes; and inter-party disputes. In this analysis, we have used an innovative tool, the Intensity Scale, which EMN developed to rank incidents by the threat they pose to the quality and peaceful nature of elections. This enables us to conduct statistical analysis of changing trends of incidents and assists in standardizing EMN’s ‘appropriate action’. A copy of the Intensity Scale is attached at Addendum 2. Page 2
  • 3. Table 1: Top 6 Municipalities for Total Intensity of Incidents Reported Municipality No. of serious incidents Total intensity Ethekwini 5 22 Buffalo City 6 21 Johannesburg 2 9 Tshwane 2 9 Msunduzi (Pietermaritzburg) 2 9 Cape Town 3 6 Table 2: Serious Incidents Reported to EMN By Week Week ending No. of incidents Total intensity 11th March 3 11 18th March 2 6 25th March 1 5 1st April 3 15 8th April 9 30 15th April 10 38 22nd April 8 21 In Tables 1 and 2 above, there is a clear increase in the number of incidents reported in April, this may simply reflect monitoring networks becoming more effective and alert as they bed down. It would be risky to draw too many conclusions from this data. Table 3 below breaks down the data to look at whether the nature of incidents is changing over time. To do this, we have broken down incidents into three periods rather than seven weekly periods given the small number of data items. Table 3: Total Intensity by Cause of Incident Period Disputes Between Parties Internal Selection Problems Service Delivery Issues Campaigning Beyond Acceptable Boundaries Other or Unknown 3rd March- 25th March 0 16 0 0 6 26th March-8th April 10 19 5 11 0 9th April- 22nd April 26 17 6 4 6 Page 3
  • 4. It is clear from detailed reports from field workers that there is an overlap between the issue of service delivery and the issue of candidate selection. A high proportion of the incidents related to internal selection problems are also explicitly linked to service delivery issues. While all parties have candidate selection disputes, every incident reported to us which spilled over into disorder or violence related to candidate selection issues within the ruling party. It is not surprising that issues around conflict between parties and parties campaigning beyond acceptable limits (e.g. through misuse of welfare or campaigning in areas where it is prohibited) first started to emerge when internal candidate selection processes finished and the election campaign proper started. What is notable, however, is the extent to which, even after candidate lists were finalised and the campaign proper started, internal ANC selection issues and service delivery complaints have remained as prevalent and serious as inter-party disputes. There has been some serious violence related to internal selection issues – one serious incident of arson in Limpopo, the death of a man in Eastern Cape and two separate conspiracies to murder in the Eastern Cape and Gauteng. The two “other/unknown” incidents are worth noting. Both related to ANC councillors in KwaZulu-Natal being gunned down by unknown and clearly skilled assassins a month apart, one in Durban and one in Pietermaritzburg. Further information about these incidents has been difficult to come by. Table 4 below examines which parties are involved in inter-party disputes. We have eleven serious incidents of inter-party disputes on the database. Table 4: Number of Inter-Party Dispute Incidents by Parties Involved Parties Involved Number of Incidents Number of Incidents Involving Violence to Persons IFP and NFP 4 2 ANC and IFP 2 0 ANC and DA 2 0 Unknown 2 0 Unkown (victim IFP) 1 1 The pattern of IFP-NFP tension is clear, although our field workers in KZN report a much higher level of tolerance of campaigning this year than at any time in the past. The lack of serious ANC-DA conflict does not correspond with the reported intolerance between the parties that in many areas. The last 11 days Page 4
  • 5. The last 11 days to E-Day could potentially result in increased tensions, especially as the campaign becomes more heated. The strategies that EMN intends to put into play for this period include further promotion of the EMN Hotline, SMS 33830 (messages cost R1.50), more effective and efficient mechanisms to gather information, and enable early detection of and early response to potential trouble-spots. Page 5
  • 6. Addendum 1 Ficksburg Report -17/18th April 2011 Ficksburg, in the Free State, boasted little political significance until the fatal shooting last week of Andries Tatane in the course of a community protest. Ficksburg has since, rather quickly, come to symbolise some of the deep fissures in our society, the frustrations of poor communities, as well as the political tensions, failures and challenges on our social landscape. The facts surrounding the killing, as we heard them, are as follows: 4000 protesters from the local township Meqheleng marched to the municipal offices last Wednesday 13th April, 2011 to demand a response from the mayor Mr. Mbothoma Maduna to an earlier memorandum listing complaints with regard to the lack of the most basic service deliveries over the past few years. Over the past two years especially, the Meqheleng community, through various civil society structures, had attempted to engage the municipality with regard to issues of service delivery and public service. The dire lack of potable water, sewerage (the bucket system is still in use), lack of decent roads were cited as key issues. Community leaders claim that virtually nothing has been done around any of these issues. This is patently obvious all over Meqheleng.1 A march was organised for Wednesday, 13 April 2011. The size and the diversity of participants indicate the levels of dissatisfaction in the community ( as well as the organisational competency) According to the reports of the local clergy, as the protesters neared the municipal offices, the police used a water canon and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd. At one point the stream of water was turned towards an elderly man who stumbled under the impact. Mr Andries Tatane with his hands in the air indicating that he was unarmed, broke ranks and went to the man’s assistance. At this point he was shot at close range with rubber bullets and then beaten up by police offices. He fell to the ground and died twenty minutes later, before an ambulance arrived. Senior police seemingly exercised no oversight nor appealed for any kind of restraint, at this point. 1 Heim Marais claims that since 2004/5 there have been on average 6000 protests around service delivery/public service, per annum. Commentators have noted that the number of protests as well as the numbers participating in them have increased, as has the diversity (age, gender, political affiliation) of participants. This was apparently true of the Ficksburg march last Wednesday. This is in itself a significant fact. Page 6
  • 7. The deceased, Mr Tatane, a former teacher, was well known in the community for amongst other good deeds, his tutoring, free of charge, of young people in the areas of maths and computer literacy. He did this mainly in the public library and it is somewhat ironical that in the community’s anger after the killing, the library was torched. The entire course of events was televised and captured on camera by the media. It was aired on national television that night and has since been flighted internationally. This put the events solidly in the public domain and made any cover-up impossible. It is doubly problematic that in a democracy where the freedom of speech, the right of assembly and other civic rights are guaranteed and protected by the Constitution, that such drastic, unconstitutional action should be taken against those exercising these rights. The culture of protest has a hallowed tradition in SA especially at grassroots level. It has for decades been used by disempowered and disenfranchised communities as an essentially non violent engagement and form of leverage with those in power. It is thus a known activity and responses to it are, by and large, predictable. The unleashing of extreme forms of ‘riot control’ in such circumstances is thus quite extraordinary, particularly in the context of widely acknowledged failings of service delivery in many municipalities. Some additional points: We were able to pay a pastoral visit to the family and offer our condolences. We met with members of the pastors’ forum and were interviewed on the local radio station. All of these groups were grateful for the solidarity. I think that it is widely acknowledged that pastoral visits in such instances carries a positive value and fulfils the faith requirement of ‘exercising works of mercy’. At another level it is also an exercise of civil society’s role as a custodian of good governance and democratic praxis. Our presence and the presence of the next group of eminent persons also helped to ensure that key fears are not realised such as tampering with witnesses, cover ups, etc., by the police. The fact that they know that there is additional vigilance must in some ways raise the bar in these matters. Fear that justice would not be done, was mentioned frequently. Discussions around the implications of the activities of the past days also seemed to be of benefit for those who had to continue to make informed decisions in the community. The addition of other voices, we were told added to the reservoir of wisdom that assisted the community in their deliberations. The MEC for Public Safety has visited the area and met with community leaders. A pastor with close links to the provincial government and the ruling party has been Page 7
  • 8. deployed to the area as a pastoral presence. There is some suspicion that this amounts to no more than the party trying to ‘manage’ the situation and put the best spin on events for the ANC. One of the pastors expressed the concern that there are attempts to politicise the funeral party which are neither wise nor in the interests of social justice and progress. For our group it was also, an important opportunity, if admittedly not the primary reason, to asses whether the community uprising posed specific challenges for the upcoming local elections especially since the elections and candidates lists were responsible in some important measure for the protest. In this sense it was an exercise of our specific task. From what we were able to ascertain, there is at this point no specific challenge to the electoral infrastructure though the atmosphere in Meqheleng might change after the memorial service and the funeral and the days following as the community discerns the meaning of the past few days and the political implications of the recent events. The events in Meqheleng provide many opportunities for political posturing and point scoring. If this is not handled sensitively it could lead to an eruption of pent up feelings and anger. If there is one thing that we ought to have learnt from the events in north Africa, it is the need to understand the political implications and possibilities of initial, local actions and the leverage they offer for change. The implications of the process of drawing up party lists, benchmarks for accountability for those elected to public office such as the mayor, and managers, issues around honesty and trust, have huge ramifications . True, these events yield positive long term results where they can be linked to political structures and campaigns with an already existing momentum. If not linked politically, local events can be diffused and fizzle out. None the less, it remains true that historically, positive changes, new processes are often sadly won only after tragedies and hard fought battles. It should not be so but that seems to be one way in which ‘power’ alters. In a sense what transpires after the funeral, the political and strategic lessons learnt and their implementation. It will be important organisationally and politically for the community, but also will constitute one way of honouring Andries Tatane’s memory. It will honour especially his altruism and courage in that dangerous moment of going to the aid of a vulnerable person. Somehow our response to the vulnerable is indeed the measure of our own humanity. For this reason Mr. Tatane’s death is a salutary lesson in courage and a moral challenge for all of us! Page 8
  • 9. Addendum 2 – Intensity Chart Rating Physical Violence Examples Other Examples Actions 9 • Murder on a grand scale accompanied by equivocation by political leaders. • Credible threats by senior political figures to resort to nationwide violence if they are unhappy with an election outcome. • Credible threats by senior national or provincial figures to withdraw services from all areas which vote in a particular way. Instant referral onwards to senior EMN partners for immediate action by eminent persons. 8 • Multiple incidents of homicide in a particular locale accompanied by equivocation by political leaders. • Murder on a grand scale even if later condemned by political leaders. • Violent attempts to intimidate voters at voting stations on a national scale. • Vote-buying on a nationwide scale. • Attempts to prevent employees from exercising their right to vote freely by employers with a national reach. • Credible threats by senior local political figures to resort to violence in a particular locale if they are unhappy with the local election outcome. • Threats withdraw services from a particular neighbourhood or municipality by credible provincial or national political figures if it votes in a particular way. Instant referral onwards to senior EMN partners for immediate action by eminent persons. Page 9
  • 10. 7 • An isolated incident of homicide accompanied by equivocation by political leaders. • Multiple incidents of homicide in a particular locale. • Politically motivated homicide of canvassers or street campaigners. • Disruption of meetings accompanied by homicide. • Widespread politically motivated destruction of property, such as the bulldozing of an area of housing lived in mainly by supporters of a particular party. • Violent attempts to intimidate voters at voting stations on a municipal scale. • Attempts to intimidate voters at voting stations on a national scale, not accompanied by violence. • Attempts to prevent employees (e.g. in a particular farm or factory) or tenants (e.g. in a particular township) from exercising their right to vote freely, by employers or landlords with a significant reach in a particular locale. • An isolated case of abuse of citizen entitlements (e.g. welfare payments) to prevent people from exercising their right to vote freely or to force people to vote on a municipal scale. • Threats to withdraw services from a particular neighbourhood by credible local particular figures if it votes in a particular way. Instant referral to senior EMN partners for action within 24 hours. 6 • An isolated incident of homicide. • Multiple incidents of serious assult or homicide in a particular locale. • Politically motivated serious assault of canvassers or street campaigners. • Disruption of meetings accompanied by serious assualt. • Attempts to intimidate voters at voting stations on a municipal scale, not accompanied by violence. • An isolated incident of violent intimidation of voters at a particular voting station. • Attempts to prevent a significant number of employees (e.g. in a particular farm or factory) or tenants (e.g. in a particular township) from exercising their right to vote freely. • An isolated case of abuse of citizen entitlements (e.g. welfare payments) to prevent people from exercising their right to vote freely or to force people to vote on a neighbourhood scale. • Abuse of state resources for campaigning on a national scale. Referral to senior EMN partners within 24 hours for action within 72 hours. 5 • An isolated incident of serious assualt or attempted homicide. • Serious property damage carried out in the knowledge that it carries a significant risk of grievous injury or death. • Politically motivated assault of canvassers or street campaigners short of deliberate attempts to kill or seriously injure. • Disruption of meetings accompanied by assault short of deliberate attempts to kill or seriously injure. • An isolated attempt to intimidate voters at a particular voting station, not accompanied by violence. • Widespread vote-buying in a particular locale. • Abuse of citizen entitlements (e.g. welfare payments) to prevent people from exercising their right to vote freely or to force people to vote on a neighbourhood scale. • Threats by canvassers or street campaigners that services will be withdrawn from a given area if it fails to vote in a particular way. • Abuse of state resources for campaigning on a municipal scale. Referral to senior EMN partners within 24 hours for action within one week. Page 10
  • 11. 4 • Displays of firearms. • Physical assualt short of deliberate attempts to kill or seriously injure. • Serious property damage which is not a threat to personal safety (e.g. arson on buildings known to be unoccupied). • Disruption of meetings accompanied by minor physical assault (e.g. aggressive jostling or pushing). • Isolated attempts to prevent individual employees or tenants from exercising their right to vote. • Abusive confrontations encouraged or taken part in by senior figures in national party hierarchies. To be flagged within that week’s narrative report and reported to the relevant provincial IEC. 3 • Displays of non-firearm weapons such as knives or clubs. • Minor property damage such as stone-throwing or scratching or painting cars. • Threats to personal safety. • Minor physical assault (e.g. aggressive jostling or pushing). • Attempts to disrupt meetings accompanied by threats. • Isolated incidents of vote buying. • Individual cases of abuse of significant amounts of state resources (above R10,000) for campaigning. To be flagged within that week’s narrative report and reported to the relevant provincial IEC. 2 • Removal of posters. • Non-violent attempts to disrupt meetings. • Threats to damage property. • Abusive confrontations encouraged or taken part in by senior figures in local party hierarchies. • Individual cases of abuse of petty amounts of state resources (up to R10,000) for campaigning. To be part of quantitative trends analysis. 1 • Abusive confrontations beyond the confines of legitimate political debate, particularly if accompanied by racially loaded or other prejudiced language. • Withdrawal of private services (e.g. service in shops) to supporters of a particular party. • Campaigning in an area where campaigning is known to be prohibited. To be part of quantitative trends analysis. Page 11

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