Alexandra Stadium: 10 April 2011
I take great pleasure in visiting Alexandra at the
request of the IFP leadership in the City of Johannesburg. I was
invited to come here to speak to our people about all that has
happened in the IFP recently and what it means for our future. I am
pleased that this opportunity coincides with the launch of our Local
Government Election campaign, which took place in Durban last
Saturday. This is an opportune moment for us to continue our
dialogue on issues of governance, development and partnership.
This is a dialogue the people of the IFP, wherever
they find themselves, have engaged for the past 35 years. But as we
stand on the eve of the 2011 Local Government Elections, these
issues take on added importance. On the 18th of May, the power to
decide the future will be placed squarely where it belongs; in the
hands of the people. This election is about you. It is about your
community, your needs and your municipality.
The IFP has a long and proud history of working
for South Africans.
Together we brought South Africa out of oppression
and into democracy.
Together we tackled the challenge of transforming
the legislative foundation of our country. And together we are
pursuing the next step; our full liberation from the bonds of
poverty, underdevelopment and social malaise.
The IFP is at the forefront of this challenge. For
more than three decades we have pursued a revolution of goodwill in
South Africa. We have done so hand in hand with our people; ordinary
people, fighting ordinary battles under extraordinarily difficult
circumstances. It pains me to see a deterioration in the quality of
leadership in our country. We seem to have lost direction and focus.
This makes the struggle for a revolution of goodwill more difficult,
but also more critical.
As we seek to meet the social and economic
challenges of our country, the IFP is aware that we also need to
safeguard the advances we have made since 1994. I wish I could say
that South Africa has arrived at a point in which our commitment to
liberty, participative governance and development is beyond
reproach. But, rather than arriving, I somehow feel we have come to
a crossroads on what may still be a long journey.
Nevertheless, it is a journey the IFP is committed
to make, on behalf of our people and in partnership with our people.
The May 18 election is an important step along the way, for this
election will determine the health of our democracy. The electoral
result will tell us whether democracy can thrive in South Africa, or
whether a one party state is inevitable. Your vote will help make
this decision. I cannot over emphasize how valuable your vote will
be on May 18th.
Make no mistake, there is an all out war raging
for your vote. I have come here to speak openly and frankly to the
communities of this district, because I know that many of you have
been misled by the newly formed National Freedom Party and I am told
that some of you are being victimized. I have come to set the record
straight. The NFP is not the new IFP. At best it is a cheap knock
off of the ANC, because it was birthed with ANC money and with the
I have spoken about Mrs kaMagwaza-Msibi and her
NFP in KwaZulu Natal.
We have examined her treachery during our national
Youth Brigade Conference and our Women's Brigade Conference, because
we needed to look at all that has happened and place it in the right
This split is a relatively small obstacle when one
puts it in the perspective of 35 years. Two years of ructions cannot
nullify or change a legacy that has been built over more than three
It has been a cathartic experience to discuss our
former National Chairperson within our structures. But there is
nothing left to say.
She lied. She left. Now she is plotting her
comeback. But she is one person, with nothing new to offer, other
than an untested party filled with malcontents and disgruntled
defectors. The IFP is bigger than any individual person or
personality. Our mission is far greater than Magwaza-Msibi. Our
legacy does not depend on a pip-squeak we promoted.
Our role in South Africa is unchanged and
unchangeable, for we are the watchdog of democracy and the champion
of the people.
I am speaking in such strong terms because I
believe the people of the City of Johannesburg are looking for
straight answers. A great deal of confusion has been sown in the
past two years and it is time to let the truth be known. Much of the
confusion has come from the propaganda being carried by certain
newspapers that seek to promote Mrs kaMagwaza-Msibi while
undermining the IFP.
We have approached the Press Ombudsman time and
time again to prevent the media from publishing such biased and
baseless articles. But we know that once something is read, even if
a retraction is later published, it becomes fact in the mind of the
reader. Because of the destructive power of irresponsible
journalism, I spoke in Parliament during the debate on the
President's state of the nation address to expose allegations of
brown envelope journalism. A document had been leaked which revealed
that a certain editor had been bought to protect Mrs
kaMagwaza-Msibi's reputation, and that other journalists would be
targeted for this purpose.
I revealed these things in Parliament because the
IFP has born the brunt of propaganda for three decades, and it is
time for the nonsense to end. It was not easy to raise these matters
in Parliament and, as I had expected to be, I was criticized for
doing it. But I have never been one to take the easy path for the
sake of popularity. I believe in speaking truth to power, regardless
of how uncomfortable it makes them feel. I suspect I will face some
criticism again in the media after today's meeting, for I intend to
speak again about Zanele Magwaza-Msibi.
Although we have moved on as a Party, the
propaganda continues and many of our supporters are being
intentionally misled. Thus, although we have spoken about this in
KwaZulu Natal, I feel we must speak about it again in Gauteng, so
that the truth can triumph. I believe in arming people with the
truth so that you can make informed decisions about your future and
When I visited Soweto in June last year for the
provincial conference of the IFP, lies were being bandied about in
the media that the youth of our Party wanted a change in leadership.
Using the platform of the youth's call for transformation in the
IFP, a debate which I myself opened when I spoke about renewal and
regeneration, a few ambitious malcontents engineered a division in
our Party. The transformation agenda was never spelled out, for it
was hijacked and grotesquely altered to suit the nefarious scheme of
people who wanted to take over the leadership of the IFP.
At the helm of all this treachery was our former
National Chairperson, Mrs Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi, who deceived the
leadership in the National Council and lied to our members. She
allowed her supporters, "The Friends of VZ" to create chaos within
our structures, disrupting meetings with chair throwing, fistfights
and swearing matches, and continuing to lie as our members were
wounded and killed.
In November last year, she took the IFP to court
to try to prevent us from holding a disciplinary enquiry that would
have exposed her deception, and to try to force us to hold an
elective conference at which her supporters intended to nominate her
for the presidency. I shudder to think what would have happened to
our Party if the Friends of VZ had foisted on us a leader with no
integrity, no conscience and no goodwill towards the IFP.
Through her court case, Mrs kaMagwaza-Msibi made
it clear that she was either going to lead this Party, or destroy
it. Our legacy was of no consequence in her pursuit for power. Our
members did not matter. Our values were dispensable. Nothing
mattered to this woman except her own status. She sought power for
the sake of power.
I thank God that her carefully laid plans were
waylaid and the IFP was vindicated by the judgment of the
Pietermaritzburg High Court. We had done nothing wrong in dealing
with Magwaza-Msibi. In fact we had supported her, promoted her and
given her the benefit of the doubt. In turn, she wreaked havoc in
the IFP while drawing an IFP salary, even months after her new party
had been registered with the IEC.
So that lie that she peddled that the IFP was
persecuting her was exposed as a lie. And the lie that her
supporters told that our youth wanted a change in leadership was
revealed as nonsense. Indeed, the National Executive of the IFP
Youth Brigade and the leadership of SADESMO have endorsed a request
made by our National Council in October 2009 that I consider
continuing to lead the IFP beyond our next conference. I have not
yet made this decision. Just three weeks ago, we held a successful
national Youth Brigade Conference in which the youth resolved that
my leadership is still needed in the IFP and in the country.
This is in sharp contrast to the ANC Youth League,
which often openly criticizes the leadership of the ANC. Of course
we all remember that Mr Zuma had a group of supporters lobbying for
him at the contested Polokwane conference in 2007, who called
themselves "The Friends of JZ".
It is no surprise that "The Friends of VZ", who
are now the NFP, came across as copycats of "The Friends of JZ",
because evidence has shown that some leaders within the ANC were
bankrolling the split in our Party and "The Friends of VZ" were
supported both financially and through propaganda in their bid to
steal the IFP away from its elected leadership.
We should not be surprised if the NFP turns on
itself in the coming months, just as the structures of the ANC are
doing, for many of those who joined the NFP did so on the basis of
promises of money, power, positions and status. There is sure to be
some serious jostling for top spots in the NFP and this may well
sound the end of the NFP before it has even started. We have seen
how power struggles threatened to split COPE soon after it was
In the case of COPE, a split was lamentable
because it weakened democracy by weakening the opposition. But in
the case of the NFP, internal fractures can only bode well, for this
non-starter is threatening to split the vote and give more power to
the ANC. That is why the ANC supported its formation in the first
place. The NFP is not a threat to the ANC; in fact it is a boon for
the ANC. But it is a threat to democracy, and a threat to the people
who mandated the IFP to lead their municipalities.
We know that the ANC's intention all along has
been to centralize power into the hands of the few, at the top. The
pursuit of centralization turned the ANC against the idea of
provinces when we came together around the negotiating table before
1994. They preferred to see policies developed at a national level,
rolled out on a conveyor belt system to the provinces, regardless of
the idiosyncrasies of our diverse regions and peoples.
The IFP fought tooth and nail for provinces. We
were established upon the notion of federalism, as the most
effective means of ensuring democracy in a pluralist society. We
sought to bring governance closer to the people, so that you could
partner with your representatives in designing solutions to specific
service delivery problems.
The problems you face in Gauteng are not exactly
the same as those in the Western Cape or Mpumalanga. I know that
here, for instance, there is great concern over the Metro's
irregular billing, which affects the financial security of families
and small businesses. Some Johannesburg residents are being
over-billed for rates and services by the ANC-led municipality and,
if they don't pay up, their services are disconnected. Residents
have been forced to protest to get their government to listen to
One does not see service delivery protests in
IFP-led municipalities, because we believe in listening to the
people and responding to their concerns with genuine answers. We
know that nationally there is a crisis due to escalating food and
fuel prices, which are affecting the poor far more than the rich.
The price increases on basic commodities are eroding the disposable
income of poorer households. This is not just about choosing a
cheaper brand. It's about having to go without certain basic items
The IFP's track record in the 32 municipalities we
lead in KwaZulu Natal has enabled us to prove that IFP led
municipalities function better than ANC led municipalities. We faced
a problem of incorrect electricity meter readings in Uphongolo.
Instead of passing the cost on to our people, the municipality
installed pre-paid meters. In Edumbe, we have prioritized
electricity connections to local businesses, because we understand
how difficult it is to succeed in any entrepreneurial venture in the
present economic climate.
The IFP believes in real solutions, not lip
service and empty promises. To my mind, making empty promises is one
of the most irresponsible things a government can do. For seventeen
years the ruling Party has been making promises and focusing your
attention on the final goal, without ever explaining how it plans to
get there. It is dishonest, for instance, to announce a Youth Wage
Subsidy when nothing ever comes of the proposal. Our youth should
rather be equipped with the skills they need in order to find
employment. The IFP advocates youth work holiday schemes that double
as apprenticeships for later employment in municipal services.
Unemployment amongst the youth in our country is
at 51% and the National Treasury predicts that by next year 16
million people will be receiving social grants. Government's lauded
Expanded Public Works Programme created 2.4 million jobs. But they
lasted less than 50 days.
Between 2009 and 2010, we lost about 1.17 million jobs, rather than
seeing the half a million new jobs the President committed himself
If one were to try and imagine how many unemployed
people that constitutes, picture the whole of Johannesburg being
without work, and add another million on top of that. Four years
ago, the IFP youth in this province marched on the Legislature and
presented a memorandum to the Office of the Presidency calling for
an urgent intervention to address unemployment. Although a lot has
been said, we have not seen tangible results. It is not enough to
simply talk about something. One has to know how to achieve it, and
be willing to sacrifice and work to get there.
I am a pragmatist, because life has taught me not
to indulge dreams as if they were reality. Pragmatism prevents me
from endorsing the ANC's dream of redressing the many imbalances in
our society without paying any cost. To create job opportunities, we
must pay the social cost of creating maximum flexibility in the
labour market. To create a new industrial basis, we must accept the
political cost of displeasing the trade unions, curbing expectations
and being honest with our people.
The Department of Human Settlements recently
revealed that it will cost approximately R58 billion to fix poorly
constructed RDP houses.
Government throws around figures like this to show
how much it is doing for our people. But what was the cost of
employing unfit contractors in the first place? And who is
benefitting from all this wastage of government funds? Certainly not
you, the taxpayer.
Certainly not you, who will go and vote on the
18th of May.
It is unacceptable that corrupt officials and
corrupt contractors walk away with your hard earned money, while
delivering nothing of any benefit. I led the erstwhile KwaZulu
Government for eighteen years and never once was an allegation of
corruption ever levelled against my administration. Corruption is not
an inevitable part of government. It is a vile product of wrong
The IFP is concerned about evidence of corruption
within the housing allocation programme. There is no clear policy
for the allocation of newly built houses and not enough are being
built to meet the needs of all those who have no home. We believe
that housing should be allocated in a transparent and orderly manner
that is easily understood by all. We also believe in proper planning
and management of hostels and informal settlements.
IFP is still applying pressure on Government to
improve the subhuman conditions of many hostels in and around
Gauteng. We believe hostels should be converted from dormitory style
accommodation into self-contained units that can accommodate single
people or families.
Such units must be affordable, have basic services
and be integrated into the broader community.
I have said before that every South African,
whether they live in a shack, a block of flats or a hostel, is
entitled to government services. The fact that this has not
materialized after 17 years of democracy is an indictment on our
government. The IFP is determined to see the situation improve. We
are keenly aware of the needs here. We know our people, just as our
people know us.
The IFP's election campaign is all about you,
because - to us - you deserve honest leaders, truthful
representatives and real solutions.
We insist on a local government that is open and
efficient, and works for you. For this reason, we work to promote
openness in our municipalities. Tenders are public so that you will
know precisely who gets what, for what service. We believe you have
a right to receive any information you require concerning your
municipality and your council.
We also believe that every Rand must be spent in a
way that improves your community and your municipality. The IFP acts
against mismanagement, corruption and waste. We are not shy to fire
councillors who are not working and not delivering. No one in the IFP
gets a free ride. For that reason, we block bonuses for managers
which are not earned through real performance.
We are committed to bringing municipal governance
closer to you, empowering you to participate in decisions that are
made. Our councillors are mandated to work closely with you every
day, so that local government by the IFP works with you and for you
in all that it does. We set a very high standard for our councillors,
for we know that they not only represent the IFP to the people, but
the people to their Government.
You can therefore expect an IFP councillor to be a
person of integrity, who will be open and fair in their dealings,
include you in decision making and be accountable for all they do.
Our councillors are required to be available to you at all times, to
take your concerns seriously, and treat you with dignity and
These commitments are contained in the pledge
which the IFP's candidates took during our national campaign launch
last Saturday, and which your own future leaders have taken here
today. In the next few weeks before May the 18th many promises will
be made by parties intent on getting your vote. But if you scratch
the surface, you are likely to find that these are empty promises.
The ANC does not have a sound track record when it comes to
fulfilling promises, and the NFP has no track record at all.
Because the IFP is a party of integrity with an
admirable track record of service delivery and good governance, we
have been able at every election to point to all that we have done
in the past 35 years and ask the electorate to make an informed
decision on who has the experience and integrity to lead our
country. You know the IFP. You have worked with the IFP for
generations. Long before 1994, the IFP was working hand in hand with
the people. Long before democracy, we were the people's champion.
Today, the IFP is still on the side of the people.
South Africa is paying the cost of its leaders' arrogance. With
every poor decision of the ruling party, our people have to pay. We
are sick and tired of being told what is in our best interests.
Decisions on governance should be made by the people being governed.
The IFP seeks to see South Africa governed by
South Africans, in partnership, from the ground up, through strong
municipalities with tailor made service delivery plans. It is about
you; about building you a house, about educating your children,
about fixing your roads, about giving you quality medical care, and
helping you find employment that is sustainable and dignified.
You should be the one to decide whether a clinic
is being run properly, or if a road needs to be resurfaced. You
should be telling your representatives about electricity and water
needs, and seeing those needs met. The IFP has decided to focus its
campaign in 2011 on you, because only through your participation and
vigilance can local government succeed. We cannot govern effectively
without listening to you, and finding out how to serve you best.
We have listened to the people for 35 years and
have accepted your mandate to serve. I ask you to speak again
through the ballot box on May 18th. The IFP wants to partner with
the people of goodwill. We want to serve you and work for you, in a
partnership that puts you first. As the President of the IFP, I ask
you to strengthen the hand that works for you - vote for the IFP.
I urge you to be vigilant during this election
campaign, and to report any intimidation or fraud. Do not allow
yourselves to be cheated out of the leadership you prefer. In every
election since 1994, there have been incidents of electoral fraud
and irregularities aimed at swaying the balance of power. We have
seen people bussed into areas in which they do not live, to register
and vote for the ANC, and we have seen the special vote abused.
The special vote, which was previously reserved
for national and provincial elections, will now apply in May 2011.
This will enable the sick, the elderly and the frail, and anyone who
cannot vote on the 18th of May for whatever reason, to vote on the
16th and 17th. I urge you to assist anyone who would qualify for the
special vote to register at their voting station between the 15th of
April and the 3rd of May, so that they too may cast their vote and
have their say.
While South Africa has boasted free and fair
elections since 1994, the IFP has continually raised concerns with
the Independent Electoral Commission, because we have seen all sorts
of shenanigans taking place. The IEC has not been enthusiastic about
investigating these incidents. We therefore know that it is not
going to help to cry over spilt milk after the elections. We need to
be vigilant and speak up as things happen.
The IFP is not afraid of making these bold
statements, even when we are castigated in the media. We have always
advocated negotiations and non-violence. These ideals were
propounded by the founding fathers of the ANC in 1912; but somehow
Inkatha paid a terrible price for advocating them during our
liberation struggle. We were vilified by the ANC both nationally and
internationally for rejecting the armed struggle. But we never
veered from the course of non-violence.
It would therefore be strange indeed if the IFP
failed to stand up and speak out when lives are being lost to
violence in the run up to elections. Violence has cost the lives of
several people because of the conflict between the NFP and the IFP.
I feel strongly that we must hold the IEC to its responsibility of
ensuring free and fair democratic elections. Fraud, intimidation and
victimization can play no part in deciding the electoral result. The
results must reflect the will of the people, not the success of the
loudest bully who uses underhanded tactics. This election is about
your vote. It's about you.
When the ructions in our Party came to an end at
the beginning of this year, the IFP reset course with admirable
speed. We have transformed from crisis mode into election mode, and
I believe we have done it very well. We are ready to contest the
Local Government Elections. We have identified our candidates and
submitted our lists to the Independent Electoral Commission. We have
launched our national election manifesto in Durban. And we are
speaking to our people throughout South Africa about the need to
vote on May 18th - and vote for the IFP.
As the President of the IFP, it is now my
privilege to take our pledge for the Local Government Elections in
the presence of the people of Johannesburg ?
Together with you, I will hold IFP councillors
accountable for their actions. I will insist on the highest
standards of good governance, of ethical behaviour and of
responsiveness to the community. My Party will strictly enforce this
and we will fire those who fail to comply.
I will hold every one of our councillors to their
commitment of being a person of integrity; who is open with you,
fair with you and includes you in decision-making. We will ensure
that our councillors are accountable to you and insist that they are
available at all times. We will take your concerns seriously and
treat you with dignity and respect. I pledge the IFP to work for you
and with you, for the IFP knows it is all about you.
City of Johannesburg, I thank you.