IFP Welcomes Returning Members
Statement by Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP
Durban: 19 December 2014.
For close on forty years, the IFP has encouraged
South Africans to get involved in shaping our nation. We all have
something valuable to contribute.
It is easy to sit on the side-lines and complain,
wishing that our country’s leaders would do things differently and
that the challenges in our nation would be met with a passionate
response, good ideas and committed action. But in a democracy, good
only thrives when the people themselves get involved; when we become
the history-makers and policy-shapers; when we become the solution.
Over the years, the IFP has attracted countless
people of goodwill who seek to make their contribution. First we
worked to secure democracy, and now we work to strengthen and
The IFP is home to civic-minded South Africans,
to entrepreneurs, to parents, to community leaders, to students; to
people with the courage to create change. We are home to people who
understand that politics is not something that happens in the
corridors of power in Parliament and the Legislatures. Politics is a
vehicle through which ordinary citizens influence every sphere of
So it matters whether or not you choose to become
involved in politics. It also matters which party you choose as your
political home. Each party has its own identity. For the IFP, it is
integrity, unity, service and ubuntu.
The IFP celebrates whenever someone joins our
family, for we recognise that they are empowering themselves,
strengthening the voice of the IFP and strengthening our country.
It’s a dynamic relationship in which everyone wins.
But we also celebrate when former IFP members
return to the IFP. Not everyone commits to one party for life, and
politics is such that some move from one party to the next before
finding their political home. We appreciate that people may need to
experience an alternative to the IFP, before realising that this is
where their contribution is most valued, this is where their voice
is heeded, this is where they can make the biggest difference.
Today we are welcoming Mr Thusi home, and we are
welcoming old friends from Dalton Hostel and the Hostel’s Residents’
Association. It’s good to see them come home to the IFP, because
these are citizens who have already committed to being politically
active. You are already leaders in your own community, influencing
governance, shaping policy and mobilising active support for
We don’t need to convince you to make your
contribution. You are ready and willing. You understand the value of
getting involved. I want to welcome you home and thank you for
returning. I also want to encourage you not to hang back because of
anything that happened in the past. The IFP is a party focussed on
serving South Africa. So when I say, “Welcome home”, I am really
saying, “Welcome home, roll up your sleeves, there’s place on our
team for you”.
We have called this media conference to receive
Mr Thusi and other former IFP members because we wanted it to be
known that the IFP’s door is always open. I said this from the
moment the NFP was established and I said it, in fact, throughout
the entire period of distress when our members were being led astray
with empty promises and false empathy. We were always open to
reconciliation. We have never closed our door.
Any many people have walked through that door.
Since the NFP’s formation, various developments have led to
large-scale disillusion within that party. Many who left the IFP to
join the NFP have now returned. Some come back contrite and
penitent. Some come back angry over being misled. Some come running
back because they miss home. We have welcomed everyone; because we
know that people who come to the IFP are people who want to make a
I look forward to visiting Dalton Hostel in the new year to engage our newly returned members and let them know that they are a valuable part of the IFP team. For now, as we all take time to celebrate the festive season, I simply wish to officially welcome you home. You have made the best choice possible. We look forward to what lies ahead.
IFP Media, Parliament