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By Dimakatso Modipa

AZAPO billboard before it was vandalised
AZAPO billboard before it was vandalised

The Azanian People’s Organisation (Azapo) suspects that election thuggery is behind a case wherein their election campaign billboards were vandalised in Johannesburg on Friday morning.

“Early this morning (Friday) we were alerted to a case of vandalism on one of our billboards situated at Bicard Street on Queen Elizabeth Bridge in Johannesburg,” explained the party’s national spokesperson Jabu Rakwena.

“It is not clear at this moment as to who might be responsible for this vandalism, but we suspect this is part of the intolerance that is being demonstrated by political parties who want to establish a hegemony over certain areas and refuse to give space to other parties to operate,” lamented Rakwena.

Rakwena told Tshwane Talks that they have reported the matter to the police where a charge of malicious damage to property was filed, as well as to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), as they believe this is a clear case of election thuggery.

“It is a pity that one of our election campaign billboards couldn’t survive one democratic night as it was vandalised by those who want to ban Azapo,” he said.

“Ironically, election billboards of racist organisations are standing high without facing any threat of being vandalised,” he explained.

Rakwena told Tshwane Talks that it is the first time that the party is using billboards to campaign and that their posters used to be defaced and vandalised since time immemorial in any given election.

“The billboard is at an area of heavy traffic and it’s in your face; demanding to be noticed,” he said.

“Those that are not happy with Azapo must be scared and jealous; thus, this act of election thuggery,” said Rakwena.

AZAPO poster after it was vandalised
AZAPO poster after it was vandalised

But Rakwena is consoled by the fact that the area where the billboard was vandalised has surveillance cameras and that it should not be difficult for police to find leads.

“Our organization Azapo is one of the three liberation movements in the country and is well-grounded throughout the country; it has a strong presence in most provinces countrywide,” said Rakwena.

Rakwena says Azapo is surprised by the lack of tolerance on black political parties, yet such intolerance is not demonstrated against white political parties.

He said the party was still waiting for information from both the IEC and the police regarding developments in this case of vandalism.


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