Rotary Sports Ground: KwaMashu: 14 August 2011
I thank you for extending to me an invitation
to visit you today.
I met with the Indunas of KwaMashu recently
and we spoke about the support that the IFP still receives from
this community. I was humbled to hear that so many residents of
KwaMashu came out to vote on the 18th of May in the Local
Government Elections, and that many expressed their confidence
in the IFP. Regardless of the difficulties our Party has endured
and, in fact, despite these difficulties, the IFP retained faith
in our values, our legacy and our supporters. Our faith was not
misplaced. Your support has secured the future.
Many of our detractors have been surprised by
the enthusiastic reception the IFP has enjoyed as we meet in
various places to thank our people for their support. Our
detractors thought that the May 18th election results spelt the
end of the IFP. But they have misunderstood the mandate of the
electorate which was given through the ballot box.
The IFP has been asked to take up a new
mantle, as the champion of the dissatisfied, disenchanted and
distressed citizens, who look to the excesses, corruption and
incompetence prevailing in our government, and cry out for a
voice of integrity to speak on their behalf.
Our detractors are surprised by your continued
support. But we are not. I am not surprised that this community
still agrees with the values and principles of the IFP. I am not
surprised that you remember the legacy of our Party and all that
we worked for together in KwaMashu, and in other areas of our
country. No, I am not surprised.
But I am grateful. I have come here today to
thank you for your support. The IFP relies on your commitment.
Without you, we have no mandate. But with you, we have the
potential to become South Africa's boldest opposition yet.
As I was preparing to come here, some concerns
were raised about my visit here, following the murder of Mr
Mfaniseni Mtshali, the NFP branch leader in KwaMashu, on
Wednesday night. This murder followed two others last Sunday.
The NFP's Spokesperson, Dr Cedric Xulu, told Ukhozi FM in
the programme of 'ABASIKI BEBUNDA' , when asked about the death of
one of the NFP leaders who was murdered, that it was speeches
such as my address in Parliament and at the SADESMO Conference
which precipitated these killings.
Mr Sphamandla Goge, the presenter tried to make him to
speak about the death of the leader as he realized that he was
off the issue he had put to him.
I was shocked by Dr Xulu's accusation, for I
said nothing to SADESMO that I have not said repeatedly since
the beginning of the year. In fact, I said the same things in
Parliament on the 15th of February and my statements are on
record in Hansard. I challenge Dr Xulu to read the transcript
and to show me a single sentence in which I incite our
supporters to violence. He will not find it, because it isn't
As I listened to Dr Xulu, when he dragged my
name into the tragic deaths that have taken place, I wondered whether he was
sober or in all his senses.
The mischievous habit of always trying to drag my name
into these tragic deaths compounds the problem of the violence.
After Wednesday's killing, NFP Spokesperson Ms
Zanele Cele accused leaders of "a certain political party" of
"talk of violence". The following day, eTV carried the headline,
"NFP slams IFP for reckless comments about its ANC alliance".
The NFP keeps blaming us for violence and murders, yet we have
repeatedly called for peace, calm and no retaliation. You know
that I abhor violence. I believe in engaging problems through
negotiation, not the barrel of the gun. My entire legacy stands
as testimony to this truth.
I have been devastated by the murder of many
IFP members and councillors over the years. None of these murders
has been solved. Here in KwaMashu, Mr Michael Makathini was
killed and up to now no one knows what happened to him. A couple
of weeks ago, two more of our Councillors were murdered, and we
are waiting to hear of arrests or leads in the investigation.
Many of the politically motivated attacks on
IFP members remain a mystery. You will recall the incident in
Enseleni, where Mrs kaMagwaza-Msibi was visiting in her former
capacity as our National Chairperson. Our members were shot at
in broad daylight. One had his leg amputated. Later Mrs
kaMagwaza-Msibi complained that they had invaded her meeting,
thereby justifying the use of violence. The Police were present
at that meeting. But no one has been brought to account.
Rumours were that the person who shot our members at
eNseleni is a well known personality here in KwaMashu, who was
present at eNseleni that day.
This is not a new phenomenon. The whole issue
of politically motivated violence has never been adequately
addressed, especially when it comes to members of the IFP. Like
every other party, we made a comprehensive submission to the
Truth and Reconciliation Commission, detailing the unsolved
murders of some 400 IFP members. To date, none of those deaths
has been solved.
I speak of these things because I cannot avoid
making a strong statement, as I come to KwaMashu, that the
violence has to end. The bloodshed must stop. The IFP was
founded on the principle of non-violence and we endured years of
vilification for refusing to support the armed struggle. The NFP
should know better than to keep accusing me of violence. It is a
dirty old lie that does nothing to foster peace. I feel it is
time for the leaders of the IFP and the NFP to meet, to sort
this issue out face to face. We are equally distressed by the
assassination of the Secretary of the ANC in eThekwini, Mr Sbu
Sibiya. And we hope
that the perpetrators will be arrested and be able to face the
music. If South
Africa must go forward, these assassinations must stop.
I have always done everything in my power to
promote peace and end violence. This is part of the legacy of
the IFP. It is part of what draws the people of goodwill to
support our Party. Now, after the Local Government Elections, we
need your continued support.
I say this with confidence, because South
Africans spoke through the ballot box in the Local Government
Elections and called on the IFP to engage opposition politics.
The electoral result shed us of most of the responsibilities of
governance and we are now free to adopt a no-holds barred
opposition stance. This is a role the IFP is well-equipped to
perform, for we have a history of speaking truth to power and
taking a stand for what is right, as opposed to what is popular.
South Africa is desperate for a voice of integrity to speak on
its behalf. The IFP is that voice.
The Local Government Election results saw the
IFP regaining our position as the third largest political party
in South Africa. Across South Africa more than a million votes
of support were cast for the IFP, whether they were for an IFP
councillor, an IFP-run municipality or an IFP-led district.
Voters were given two or three ballot papers on which to make
their choice, and some 1.3 million times the people chose the
IFP. Our support did not come from the wealthiest segments of
society. It did not come from tenderpreneurs. Our support came
from grassroots communities, like KwaMashu, where people are all
too familiar with the daily struggles of life in South Africa.
These are the people who recognize the voice of the IFP as the
voice of hope, for the destitute and the despised of this
For 36 years the IFP has lived and worked
alongside South African communities like KwaMashu. You know us
and we know you. Together we struggled to liberate our country
from oppression and discrimination.
Together we fought for the vote and struggled
to improve the quality of life for our poorest people. We worked
hand in hand to build schools, clinics and houses. We started
community upliftment projects, programmes of development and
cooperatives. We pursued food security in our rural communities,
as well as health care, education, employment opportunities and
the freedom to be a part of decision making in all the spheres
Our support was in the main always grassroots
support. All the things that we did together in the dark days of
apartheid, we did with ordinary citizens. When the gospel was
'LIBERATION NOW, EDUCATION LATER;' we responded with; 'EDUCATION
Pretoria gave KwaZulu prior to 1994 a pittance.
We received less for education per capita than any other
self-governing region of South Africa.
I then appealed to Amakhosi to appeal to their people to
donate a Rand in order that we should combine their contributions
with the pittance from Pretoria.
Most of the more than 6 000 schools that we built in this
Province were built with such contributions.
We did not just talk about Self-help and Self-Reliance.
We were inspired daily by our belief in these twin
pillars of our philosophy in the IFP.
We joined hands and worked together for the good of our
people. We built
clinics for our people and even built the Prince Mshiyeni
We renovated and expanded hospitals that were built by
missionaries in many regions of our country.
We do not need to lure people to vote for us with
figments of our imagination.
We have tangible things and our record in doing these
things has not been yet surpassed in this Province even though
there are more resources available to those who now govern our
country. We did all
these things within 18 years.
We have had new governance under our democratic era for
17 years. It would
be difficult to make comparisons because even during the years
our Party ran the provincial government, which was achieved
without any fan-fare, we never spent one cent advertising what wonderful guys we were
at every opportunity.
All one is confronted with when you pick up a
newspaper or listen to our electronic media are stories on
corruption, where the names of those who should be serving the
interests of the public are conspicuous.
One sees only conspicuous consumption which sickens one
to the bottom of one's stomach.
Working together, we achieved a great deal of
good and today we have a legacy to be proud of. Yet our struggle
is far from complete. With the advent of democracy in 1994, the
ruling party began the impossible task of fulfilling the litany
of promises it made in the run up to elections. Many of these
promises remain unfulfilled seventeen years later and too many
of our people still live in abject poverty, rather than in the
utopia they were told would appear. This is not to say
that government has accomplished nothing.
I am not suggesting that.
But too much was promised than that which has
been delivered so far.
The IFP worked hard during the first ten years
of democracy within the Government of National Unity first and
then at the invitation of President Mbeki. We were part of
government and we demanded integrity, proper financial
management, accountability and delivery. The IFP knew what it
was doing, because we came into democracy with experience of
governance. Although we were a liberation organization, we did
not have to change our identity completely and regroup like the
ANC had to do when it suddenly found itself in power.
Inkatha administered the government of KwaZulu
for almost twenty years. Through experience we had gained an
understanding of public administration, sound financial
management and the principles of service delivery. In those two
decades, never once was a single allegation of corruption ever
levelled at my administration. Thus, when we entered a democratic
government, the learning curve for the IFP was nothing more than
figuring out how to get and keep the ruling Party on board with
The size of the national budget did not
impress the IFP. We were not overwhelmed by the responsibility
of administering South Africa's budget. Indeed, we knew that it
was not nearly enough to meet the vast needs of all our people
and we warned time and time again that South Africa needed to
grow its economic bases and speed up economic growth.
Inkatha had administered the shoestring budget
of the erstwhile KwaZulu Government, so we knew how to make the
most out of very little, how to use funds effectively and avoid
unnecessary waste. The ruling Party had yet to learn these
lessons. When I look at the wastage and growing corruption in
government today, I am convinced that they have still not
learned these lessons.
Nevertheless, within that first decade of
democracy, the IFP contributed its wisdom, integrity and work
ethic to government. We never stopped working, day and night, to
meet the expectations of our people. Thus Government could boast
several achievements. Many houses were built. Many homes were
electrified. We opened training colleges and we adopted the
economic programme of Growth, Employment and Redistribution.
But the IFP is no longer in government and the
ANC has had free reign in South Africa for seven years. What has
happened? Shortly before the Local Government Elections, the
Department of Human Settlements revealed that many of the RDP
houses that had been built were so poorly constructed that it
would cost approximately R58 billion to make them habitable.
Questions were raised over how much money had been spent
employing unfit contractors in the first place. We have not
reached our constitutional target of providing adequate housing
for all. But instead of building more houses, we have to fix the
ones we already built. This is the fruit of corrupt tender
practices and maladministration.
There is no clear policy for the allocation of
newly built houses. The IFP believes 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.
Thus we will not relent in applying pressure
on Government to improve the subhuman conditions of many
hostels. 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
Of the many homes that received electricity
for the first time after 1994, most can no longer afford
electricity. The tariff hikes we have been subjected to, to fund
Eskom's build programme, should have been part of the ordinary
budgetary planning of government, not part of the
ever-increasing burden placed on our most vulnerable
communities. The extra money our people now pay towards
electricity decreases the amount that can be spent on education,
healthcare and food. When you have no extra money to spend, what
do you cut in order to afford electricity? This problem is not
going to get better. Government has already agreed to allow
Eskom to raise its tariffs again next year.
I find it quite extraordinary that the ruling
Party is involved in ESKOM through Chancellor House.
It is extraordinary when one thinks of the fact that
ESKOM is continually bailed out by government.
That is through Tax-Payers' money.
So what about the training colleges we opened?
Have they equipped our people with the skills to find employment
and benefit our economy?
Unfortunately not; the ANC-led government
closed down many of South Africa's training colleges,
effectively arresting skills development in several communities.
And the laudable programme of GEAR was abandoned because the
ANC's tripartite alliance partners refused to accept an economic
policy that was not steeped in communist ideals. We saw COSATU
and the South African Communist Party jumping up and down on
national television, shouting, "We do not want GEAR! We do not
want GEAR! Asifuni GEAR!"
So GEAR gave way to ASGISA. But COSATU then
developed its own economic policy, as did the ANC Youth League,
so that today we have a Tower of Babel situation on a matter of
critical importance. Today we do not know where the country is
going as far as economic policy is concerned. The policy of
nationalization of mines has been endorsed by both the ANC Youth
League and COSATU, and now the ANC in Limpopo has endorsed it
too. President Zuma has assured the world that nationalization
of mines is not ANC policy. But he has also said that it is open
for debate. Ambiguity has never created investor confidence.
I speak of all these things to point out what
we already know; that when the ANC is left to its own devices,
it fails the standard of good governance and the standard of
integrity. This is why the ANC should not be left to its own
devices. Clearly the ruling Party needs a watchdog to shadow its
every move, point out its deficiencies and check that they get
fixed. This is the role of the opposition, and it is a role that
the IFP knows how to perform. Because we know how things should
work, and how to make them work, we are the right people to
shadow the ANC. Because we have championed opposition politics
for so many years, we are the right party to lead a strong
The IFP has accepted the mandate you have
given us. We have been the voice of the disenchanted and
distressed for decades. We are your voice; the voice that is
calling on government to change its failing policies, fix its
broken promises and act on the mission statements that promise
better education, better healthcare, better policing, a better
justice system and better jobs. We are the voice of the
The IFP is relying on its supporters to grow
our opposition role by growing the IFP. We are relying on you to
work harder than ever before to rally South Africans behind the
IFP. A strong opposition is the only thing standing in the way
of the ANC's one party state. A strong IFP is the only obstacle
to a failed democracy. I cannot help but recall how quickly
Inkatha grew when we first began in 1975. Within a few years we
boasted a card-carrying membership of some two million South
Africans. We did it because we represented everyone who sought
liberty, without compromising the principles of unity,
cooperation and non-violence.
I believe that today the IFP still represents
everyone who seeks liberty. The liberty this generation pursues
is liberty from the bonds of poverty, lack of opportunity and a
form of democracy that does not offer the benefits of true
democracy. I have no qualms about saying that South Africa's
democracy is not rock-solid and unshakable.
Indeed, even the Local Government Elections
saw a perversion of democracy when the NFP and ANC formed a
coalition to take over the 19 hung municipalities.
If the people in those municipalities had
wanted an ANC government, they would have voted for the ANC. But
they did not. Those who voted for the NFP were asking the NFP to
make good on its promise of being a better alternative. But in
the end they were not an alternative to the ANC. They became the
ANC's bedfellow. We warned before the elections that a vote for
the NFP was a vote for the ANC. I take no pleasure in having
been proven right, for voters will suffer the consequences of
their mistake. What joy can be found in suffering?
For the sake of the many who voted for the
IFP, and for the sake of those who will suffer poor leadership
because they did not, the IFP must continue. We must keep
working and serving and leading. We must continue to champion
opposition politics and the strengthening of independent
institutions that watch over our government. We must keep
speaking truth to power and keep demanding real solutions to the
problems that plague South Africa. We must remain the voice of
integrity. We must carry hope high.
But we cannot do it without you. You are the
lifeblood of our Party.
We need the people of KwaMashu to mobilize
support for the IFP, to grow our membership and promote our
legacy. I am so grateful for your support over 36 years and for
your vote on the 18th of May. I thank those who knew the IFP was
right, and I welcome back those who were led into deception.
Together, let us strengthen the voice of the opposition.
Together, let us strengthen the IFP.
I thank you.