20 June 2013
I would not usually involve myself in
discussing the personal grievances of former IFP members who
seek to pave a way for themselves by attacking me and the IFP.
However, statements have been made by and about former IFP MPLs,
Mr Roman Liptak and Dr Usha Roopnarain, which reflect on my
office and my leadership. I would therefore like to set the
Contrary to the sensationalist titles the
media is giving Mr Liptak, he has never been my "spin doctor",
my "right hand man", my "confidante" or my "speech writer". He
has also not served me "for decades".
Mr Liptak joined the IFP in 2004 as a
researcher. In that capacity, he assisted with policy
development and drafting. He never worked in my office, but he
began as a hard worker. Thus, in 2009, the Party sent Mr Liptak
to the KwaZulu Natal Provincial Legislature, where he delivered
his own speeches and made his own statements.
Among these were harsh criticisms of the ANC's
leadership, governance style and policies. The record of Mr
Liptak's utterances in the Legislature is available for anyone
to read. He addressed fraud and corruption, poor planning,
insufficient oversight and the lack of political will within the
It is therefore disingenuous for him now to
claim that in all his time in the Legislature he never saw
anything objectionable in the ANC's leadership.
His own record might just harm his aspirations
in the ANC.
It is also dishonest of Mr Liptak to claim
that he never saw the IFP discussing policy, when he himself was
involved in policy discussions.
Indeed, he was tasked by the KwaZulu Natal
Caucus just a few months ago with researching an alternative
budget framework for the election year, a project he had
assisted with twice before.
In my last interaction with Mr Liptak, in
February this year, he wrote to me saying, "I would like to
reassure you that I take your trust in me extremely seriously"
and "I wish to reassure you of my commitment to the IFP cause
which I have demonstrated repeatedly and consistently".
Despite these unsolicited assurances, Mr
Liptak is now badmouthing me and the IFP in the media. His
suggestion that I prefer taking cheap political pot-shots when I
speak in public, rather than dealing with issues of substance,
is ridiculous. Anyone who knows me knows that I steer clear of
mudslinging and always speak to the heart of the matter. My own
record bears testimony, and is also available for anyone to
I realise that Mr Liptak feels the IFP has
lost a great asset through his resignation. But in reality, we
lost Mr Liptak's contribution quite some time ago when he turned
his focus away from serving the people towards serving his own
pocket. His bizarre attacks on the IFP and my leadership are
merely an escalation of that selfish ambition.
Dr Roopnarain, not to be outdone, is also
spreading vitriol about the Party that employed and mentored
her. She speaks about "a political wilderness where virtues like
honesty are not valued". Yet honesty eludes her when she
suggests that the IFP is sexist, racist or undemocratic. Had she
really felt this way, why decline a position on National Council
where her concerns could be raised?
I suspect that, once the bloom is off the
rose, Dr Roopnarain's unavailability for party work will not be
tolerated as charitably by the ANC.
PRINCE MANGOSUTHU BUTHELEZI MP
PRESIDENT OF THE IFP