I did notice that the pidgin that came with the slack was an older version, so I downloaded and install the latest version, 2.4.3
I tried the patch, /pidgin-2.4.3-i486-1_slack12.1.tgz:
and it fixed the error that was giving me when I tried to evocate pidgin from the shell konsole. Now it opens with no more errors, except that ICQ still will not connect.
Thank you Nylex