24 October 2013
Reacting to the results of the Nongoma
By-elections which it lost, the IFP issued the following
“The results of the Nongoma by-elections were
a bad omen for opposition parties and democracy as South Africa
moves to the 2014 general elections.
“About a month or two ago, 3 IFP Ward
Councillors – representing Wards 5, 10 and 11 - deserted the
party to the ANC. That led to a hive of political activity which
set Nongoma abuzz as the town was suddenly invaded by political
parties campaigning for voter support.
“Of significance however was the decision of
the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government led by the Premier, Mr
Senzo Mchunu to enter the fray – albeit under the pretext of
engaging in service delivery programs. In the space of about two
weeks, as the political contest was reaching its crescendo,
Nongoma was bombarded with several flamboyant government
functions - some of which involved well-known musicians, DJ’s
and Radio personalities. Millions of tax-payers’ money were
spent in the 3 Wards in that short space of time.
“Mayor Zanele KaMagwaza Msibi of Zululand
Municipality was also not to be outdone. She too spent millions
moving in and out of the 3 Wards in “delivery services” programs
which saw her deliver water tanks and other services to
communities which had waited for years for her Municipality to
deliver water. In addition to the NFP’s abuse of the Zululand
District tax-payers’ money, the NFP-led Nongoma also joined that
dirty game in full force.
“The IFP was also campaigning strongly in the
Wards. But the party was beaten hands-down by its competitors
when it came to the game of “delivery of services” and the
politics of food-parcels. The IFP could not even attempt to
compete with the ANC, and the NFP, since the IFP controls
neither the provincial government nor Zululand and Nongoma
“Were these ordinary acts of government
executing its mandate to the electorate? Indeed the ANC, NFP and
their associates will advance that argument. But the timing and
the intensity of government activities at the height of the
election campaign would tell a different story. In addition, the
Premier himself let the cat out of the bag.
visit to one of the Wards on Tuesday last week, the Premier -
speaking on Ukhozi FM’s afternoon show run by Sgqemeza Mbatha –
stated they as government had decided to go to Nongoma because
there was a by-election. He said the reason for doing so was
that opposition parties, in their campaigns, were attacking the
government. They had gone there therefore to explain to the
communities what the government has done.
The Premier was
actually saying that they had gone to Nongoma as government to
defend the ANC; because it is the ANC that was contesting
elections, not government. To me, this was the Premier and
Provincial Government using the tax-payers money to campaign for
a political party.
“Again on Sunday, the MEC for Transport Mr
Willies Mchunu also let the cat out of the bag when he spoke on
Ukhozi FM Sunday morning show run by Sbu Buthelezi. MEC Mchunu
and Buthelezi spoke about the “prayer meeting” they had had
either on Friday or Saturday in Nongoma. Mchunu then went on to
thank Mr Sthembiso Gumbi whose initiative the “prayer meeting”
was. Gumbi had spoken to the Premier about it which had resulted
in its materialisation.
Obviously the “prayer meeting” was the
Premier’s directive after their discussion with Gumbi. For the
record, Sthembiso Gumbi who spoke to the Premier about the
“prayer meeting,” is one of the 3 former IFP Councillors who
ditched the party and joined the ANC; and was now campaigning as
the ANC candidate. Clearly, Gumbi had thought of a “Prayer
Meeting” as a pretext to enable the ANC to bring in government
resources to Nongoma to boost his campaign.
“All these things happened right under the
noses of the media and political commentators. It was however
unfortunate that both the media and political commentators could
not read properly what was happening in Nongoma to see its
significance within the context of the next year’s elections.
Yes reporters descended on Nongoma; but their reporting did not
suggest that they grasped what the political contest meant for
South Africa as we move towards the 2014 elections.
“Nongoma was a microcosm of what South Africa
will witness next year. Nongoma delivered a very clear message to
South Africa that opposition political parties must brace
themselves for a bitter political war where they will face the
full might of the state.
Truth be told, the ANC is on the back-foot.
The service delivery community protests that have been sweeping
South Africa for the last 2 years; the internal problems
confronting the ANC; political immorality ravaging the ANC - all stand as irrefutable proof that the ANC
is under siege. It does appear that the political charm of
President Jacob Zuma alone will not help the ANC this time. The
ANC itself is aware of the crippling challenges it faces and is
indeed frightened as they ponder the coming elections. Yet they
have continued to arrogantly declare that they will obtain a
landslide victory next year.
“Is this an empty rhetoric by the ANC? No! The
ANC are in fact delivering an unambiguous message that they are
not about to allow anyone or anything to dislodge them from
power. They are determined to leave no stone unturned to ensure
that they win – whatever it takes. A few weeks ago the media
published what they said is an ANC strategy to intensify their
infrastructure delivery campaign and to ensure that President
Zuma is seen to be launching or officially opening these
projects. In addition, the descent on Nongoma by the ANC under
the guise of provincial government to “deliver services” and to
“pray” with the people will be broadened to encompass the whole
KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa. The ANC masquerading as
government will spend millions upon millions of tax-payers’
money to dazzle and “buy” voters of this country.
“This takes us to another point. Is it not
assisting the ANC strategy for South Africa to remain
by-and-large poor, poorly-educated and unskilled? It is known
that, as long as voters remain poor and unable to fend for
themselves, they are vulnerable and susceptible to “food-parcel”
“Experience is the best teacher. Consequently,
having gone through this bitter experience, we as the IFP wish
to take the opportunity to warn all opposition parties that they
must brace themselves for a life-and-death struggle next year
from the wrathful ANC that will be determined to win at all
costs. The NFP might gloat for now because on a smaller scale
they have beaten the ANC. But they may rest assured that what
befell the IFP this time will befall them as well next year as
the ANC will be on the warpath against all opposition.”
Mbongeleni Joshua Mazibuko
IFP Deputy National Spokesperson
083 992 6135