Judging by ANC Provincial Spokesperson,
Mtholephi Mthimkhulu's press statement 'ANC statement on IFP's
double agenda', it appears that some of my recent interventions
have touched a raw nerve.
The inference in Mtimikhulu's complaint is
that I cannot exercise my role as the leader of the nation's
largest predominantly black opposition party because my Party
participates in the ANC-led government.
It is strange that even when I served in
the Government of National Unity, under the ANC, I was free to
voice the views of my Party. Even when the IFP secured a
majority and served in a coalition with the ANC, this did not
stop ANC leaders in the provincial and national government from
criticising me and the IFP.
Mr Mtimikhulu is clearly trying to bring
about a crisis because he and others want and are salivating
over the three MEC posts that were offered to the IFP by the
ANC. We did not ask for them.
I further wish to challenge Mr Mtimikhulu
to explain why Dr Jiyane informed us that Mr Bheki Cele, the MEC
for Transport, told him that he was not going to get the bus
company he now runs because of his affiliation to the IFP. At
the time, he was thinking of taking legal action. Mr Mtimikhulu
must explain who negotiated this agreement despite Mr Cele's
And are not my criticisms about the lack
of progress in service delivery and the ANC penchant for wasting
money on glitzy imbizo's a key part of the IFP's oversight role
in the "multi-party democracy" which Mtimikhulu claims
is so vibrant? He clearly only has an elementary grasp of the
concept of opposition and the vital checks-and-balances of
Well-constructed institutions do not of
themselves guarantee democracy: a nation first needs a critical
mass of individuals who truly grasp it and practise it. This
project is still underway.
The fact that Mtimikhulu feels the need to
rise to the defence of Nedeco is instructive, as it is
revealing. With Mtimikhulu by their side, at least they will not
need to employ their own media officer!
I stand by my comments that South Africa
is drifting towards a de facto one-party state. I repeat that
having won 70 percent of the popular vote in the 2004 general
election, the ANC, in real terms, has confidently exercised 100
percent of the political power ever since. Nedeco is not
constituted of "progressive-minded members", but,
rather, is a splinter party of people who have stolen votes
given to the IFP. In so doing they have merely bolstered the
ANC's grip on power.
The reality is that today it is the IFP
that is emerging as the core block of a democratic, non racial
alternative to the ANC's failed government. I will not be
deflected by Mtimikhulu cheap shots in this great task.