Durban: February 1, 2005

The IFP today submitted its draft Constitution for KwaZulu-Natal in line with the February 1, 2005 deadline set by the ad hoc constitutional committee.

"Our draft is on the table. The people now have an opportunity to read our draft, compare it with those of other political parties and evaluate all," said Dr Lionel Mtshali, MPP, who leads the IFP Caucus in KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Parliament.

Dr Mtshali also said:

"Despite our grave reservations about the way KwaZulu-Natal constitution has been rushed through the Provincial Parliament, we have submitted our draft along with all other political parties for consideration by the ad hoc constitutional committee."

"We have, however, requested to postpone our presentation of this draft to the people of KwaZulu-Natal in order to allow for a rewarding public debate, not a bogus one as intended by the ruling party."

"The IFP will fight strenuously to resist the many attempts by the ruling party to curtail the role of the public in the constitution-drafting process by making it merely symbolic, or, indeed, a mockery."

"We therefore call on the people of the province to read, ponder and comment on our draft constitution. Remember it is your constitution and we invite you to mould it with us. It is now time for the people to speak and for politicians to listen."

"The IFP is determined to negotiate for the people of KwaZulu-Natal the best constitution possible. This process can only be accomplished in a climate of total openness and uninhibited public debate."

"The IFP promotes such a climate above all else. We urge the public to support our struggle for transparency, for a fully-fledged public debate and, in the end, for an inclusive constitution for KwaZulu-Natal."

Lionel Mtshali, 083 256 4902