4 May 2014
Free and fair elections are only possible in
the absence of fraud, intimidation and deception. Unfortunately,
these evils have marred every election since 1994, and the 2014
elections have proven to be no exception.
In a research report released last month, the
Community Agency for Social Enquiry highlighted the incidence of
voter intimidation and found that the ruling party is the main
perpetrator. Every party interviewed had experienced voter
intimidation perpetrated by the ANC.
Even the ANC spoke of intimidation and
violence within the ANC.
Yesterday, in Mpumalanga, the IFP was once
again the victim of the ruling party's intolerance when it comes
While our members and supporters were gathered
for an election rally at the Wesselton Community Hall in Ermelo,
a situation developed that could easily have ended in tragedy.
The ANC, which was campaigning nearby, heard about our rally and
irresponsibly chose to conduct a drive-by in a convoy of some
fifty vehicles, hooting and waving ANC flags.
Our members were taunted, insulted and
provoked, and a skirmish quickly ensued. I understand that there
were some minor injuries, but I am grateful that our leadership
took control of the situation as quickly as they did, averting a
The IFP has laid a charge of intimidation with
the SAPS and we intend to file an official complaint of
intimidation against the ANC with the Independent Electoral
It seems that, throughout this campaign,
wherever there has been violence, intimidation or skirmishes,
the ruling party has emerged as the common denominator. This
places free and fair elections in jeopardy.
It is deeply disappointing that this campaign
has also been marred by mudslinging. I have found myself a key
target of this, particularly at the hands of the NFP and its
leader, Mrs kaMagwaza-Msibi. The NFP leader has accused the IFP
of corruption, claiming that our Party has used municipal
vehicles to conduct our election campaign.
We have already set the record straight in
this regard, as only IFP vehicles have been used for election
purposes. However, this has not prevented the NFP leader from
repeating this baseless allegation on Ikhwezi Radio and in the
New Age newspaper.
This is, no doubt, an attempt to deflect
attention from the R19 million worth of irregular expenditure in
the Municipality of Zululand, under the leadership of the NFP.
Both the IFP and the NFP's coalition partner, the ANC, have
approached the Public Protector to investigate allegations of
abuse of State resources to fund the NFP's campaign.
The NFP may believe that the best form of
defence is to attack. But slinging mud at a party of integrity
and clean leadership only serves to highlight the depth of
depravity of the mudslingers. I find it amazing that a woman who
has children of her own would stoop so low as to attack me
through my children. What kind of person does that?
Mrs Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi has made the same
statement on Radio Ikhwezi which she had previously made on the
30th of April. It
appeared in 'The New Age Newspaper' as follows; (in reference to
'The allegations that the NFP is using council
monies destined to provide water to the Zululand district
residents are a pathetic lie from a desperate person who is
fighting for his political survival.'
She accused the IFP and the ANC of trying to
tarnish her name. "I am unlike him (Buthelezi) who failed to
stop corruption from under his nose. His daughter who is a municipal manager at the IFP
controlled Ulundi municipality, has been absent from duty since
last year but gets paid her full salary every month while
taxpayers also foot the bill for a person who does her work.'
It is inhumane to attack my daughter for
needing a spine operation, or for needing time to recover
afterwards. The recovery period from major surgery is determined
by medical professionals, not by the patient, nor by the
patient's father. How can it be said that corruption is
happening right under my nose because my daughter has been on
In terms of our labour laws, an employee on
sick leave continues to draw a salary. There is nothing unusual
in that. Would Mrs kaMagwaza-Msibi have the labour laws set
aside just because it is my daughter? Would she have my daughter
fired for needing surgery?
Maybe we are unaware that she is an
Orthopaedic Surgeon and I am not one. If I could stop natural causes that attack a human body,
then I should have stopped according to Mrs kaMagwaza-Msibi the
arthritis that damaged my daughter's spine. If I had such supernatural powers then I should not have
lost three of my children who died from natural causes.
It is sad that, twenty years into democracy,
mudslinging and intimidation still characterise election
campaigns. But I retain hope, for the power is in the hands of
the electorate to secure free and fair campaigning in the
future, by choosing a leadership that does not stoop to the
levels; a leadership of integrity. A vote for the IFP in
2014 is a vote for free and fair elections.