November 29, 2005

The IFP condemns the decision by the ruling party to sell out the people of Matatiele. The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Parliament and, even more importantly the people of Matatiele, who were never consulted on the matter, have been overruled by a decision taken on the national level.

“The decision to abandon Matatiele taken so far away from Matatiele undermines the sovereignty of the provincial Parliament and the sovereignty of the people of Matatiele who will live with the consequences,” said Dr Lionel Mtshali MPP who leads the IFP caucus in the KZN Parliament.

Dr Mtshali also said:

“The ANC has been telling us for 50 years that ‘the people shall govern’. The ruling party has now demonstrated that the people of Matatiele shall only govern in theory. In practice, they have been sold out.

“South Africa’s national and provincial borders are a constitutional issue. The 1996 Constitution is clear on this matter. Any changes in the status of the Matatiele region will affect the Constitution, not to mention the two provinces concerned. The IFP respects this. “The IFP was baffled by the wisdom of this Parliament in affording such an important debate a mere 30 minutes. We believe that the people of Matatiele, who have the misfortune of residing in a cross-border municipality, deserve more from the institution they rightly expect to represent their interests.

“The IFP has never minced words on the subject of cross-border municipalities. We have always seen them for what they are: an important constitutional issue. In dealing with them, we have been prepared to go beyond the standard parliamentary procedure and call for a decision by the people on the ground.

“The final say, we firmly believe, should be reserved for the people. We do not want the people to have only a say in the matter, we want them to have the last word. Referendum has been our bottom line. The ruling party, on the other hand, has shown its contempt for referenda and the people at large.”

For further information contact:
Dr Lionel Mtshali: 083 256 4902