Sandton Convention Centre: 3 March 2011
The Inkatha Freedom Party is committed to
free and fair democratic elections.
The Independent Electoral Commission was
established under my leadership as the Minister of Home Affairs
during the first ten years of democracy. I brought together the best
national and international minds to construct an electoral system
that serves the interests of all the people of South Africa.
I am proud that the IEC has gone from
strength to strength, and has now overseen three national and
provincial elections, and two municipal elections. In May 2011, the
IEC will preside over South Africa's fourth Local Government
Election since we achieved democracy.
In the past seventeen years, South Africa
has boasted free and fair elections. But our elections have not been
without incidents of fraud, corruption and dirty tricks. It has been
a source of great concern to the IFP that the election campaigns of
political parties inevitably descend into mudslinging matches and
The IFP is a party of integrity. We have
never used deceit and treachery to blindside the voting public. We
rejected floor crossing legislation as political prostitution. We
have never made promises that could not be fulfilled. We respect the
voters' intelligence and our people's right to be armed with the
But on the political battlefield, integrity
is considered a weakness, and the IFP has suffered many setbacks for
our uncompromising commitment to honesty and the high moral ground.
We operate in an environment of brown
envelope journalism, where politicians pay journalists to promote
their cause, or damage the cause of their opponents. We operate in
an environment in which the majority party busses people into areas
where they do not hold popular support, and registers them to vote
there - in order to assure a fraudulent victory.
For seventeen years the IFP has highlighted
electoral fraud and irregularities in the voting process. We have
engaged the IEC and submitted formal complaints. One of our greatest
concerns for May 2011 is the security vulnerability of the new
"Special Vote". We have seen the Special Vote abused in general
elections and we warn electoral officials to be vigilant for fraud
While I am proud of what our country has
achieved, I fear for the survival of democracy if we ignore these
incidents of fraud for the sake of declaring a free and fair
election. I believe we should all be concerned about the driving
force behind electoral fraud.
There is a serious threat of South Africa
becoming a one party state if we allow opposition parties to be
systematically destroyed through propaganda, dirty tricks and
electoral fraud. The IFP believes in a strong opposition, for the
sake of a strong democracy. The ruling Party must be kept on its
toes by a strong opposition.
In generations past, South Africans
struggled for liberation. I fear the struggle of this generation
will be to preserve a democratic order that is more fragile than we