National Assembly: 15 February 2011
Within the opening moments of the State of
the Nation Address, the President indicated that his administration
is building on the foundation laid by former President Nelson
Mandela. In certain respects, this is true. But in one fundamental
way, that foundation is being quietly eroded and systematically
destroyed. If I fail to point this out, I will find myself complicit
in our country's failure.
Quoting President Mandela's inaugural
address of 1994, in which he called on South Africa to work
together, the President admitted that Government cannot achieve its
goals alone. I applaud the President for announcing this as the year
for job creation, and I concur with his intention to rope in the
private sector and other components of our society. One must
compliment the President for placing the focus on resolving this
most dire crisis.
In the past we have tended to rely too
heavily on the Expanded Public Works Programme, which has created
temporary jobs, rather than a sustainable employment blueprint. We
need to become serious about addressing job creation, by working
together as a team across all spheres. This will require a measured
attitude adjustment within Government, and the courage to reconsider
our hostile labour laws.
If we want to create jobs, we must create
industries which are viable in the long term and do not require a
constant stream of State subsidies to survive. Unless this is done,
South Africa will remain a welfare State, rather than the
developmental state we dream of. The inescapable reality of a
welfare state is that it cannot survive in the long run.
I agree that we need to seek wisdom from
President Mandela's words in 1994, not by taking sound bites that
suit our rhetoric, but by taking to heart the message of national
reconciliation. President Mandela and I, as the leaders of our
respective parties, did our utmost to achieve reconciliation. We
worked together for the sake of unity and peace, knowing that our
example would be emulated and the message of reconciliation would
filter down to grassroots communities, where violence and conflict
had been the norm for too many years.
I believe that when government does the
right thing, the people will follow.
I worked with President Mandela in the
Government of National Unity, and supported the work of our
country's leadership. Even when President Mbeki dropped me from his
Cabinet, I continued to support the work of Government.
Last year, during this State of the Nation
debate, I confirmed again that I would support our President,
because I know that his failure would be the failure of our country.
President Mandela laid a foundation for
reconciliation. I have given my heart and soul to reconciliation.
Yet, under President Zuma's leadership, reconciliation has been
muscled off the agenda. This is not an easy criticism to make. But I
have committed myself to speak truth to power, regardless of how
unpopular it might make me. And at this time in our history, it is
no longer a question of popularity or diplomacy. There comes a time
when it is necessary to simply speak the truth.
I have been criticized and ridiculed for
what some call a diversionary tactic, when I complain that some
leaders within the ANC are deeply embroiled in the rift that
developed in my Party, which eventually led to the split of our
former National Chairperson and the formation of a new party. But I
am not one to cry wolf, particularly when tensions between the ANC
and IFP contain the nascent threat of taking us back to a time of
violence and bloodshed.
I know that even my mention of this will be
misinterpreted. Before the eruption of the internecine low intensity
civil war that raged in this country between supporters of the ANC
and IFP, I repeatedly warned that we were heading for disaster. The
ANC's determined pursuit of political hegemony threw our communities
into turmoil and tensions were mounting. But whenever I spoke about
the imminence of violence, I was labelled a warmonger; as though I
could make the future happen simply by predicting it.
I pray that is not the case. Because I stand
before you today predicting that if our leadership does not honestly
commit to reconciliation, democracy in South Africa will perish.
There is clear evidence that leaders of the
ANC have provided their political assistance, massive financial
resources and moral support to the efforts to destroy the IFP and
oust me as its Leader.
Some may think this has nothing to do with
the state of the nation address, or how we regard the ANC as the
ruling Party and Mr Zuma as our President.
Yet it is part and parcel of how we as a
nation are to read, receive and believe in what was said last
Thursday. Can Mr Zuma be trusted as the President of South Africa
while he is distrusted as the President of the ANC? Can we believe
his commitment to democracy while he is involved in undermining it
at grassroots level?
On the 16th of July 2010, I met with the
President at his home in Durban. He advised me that, due to the
ructions in my Party, I should step down as the Leader of the IFP. I
respect our President as the Head of State and thus took no
exception to his suggestion. Yet I replied that his advice would
carry more weight were it not for the ANC's role in our problems.
I told the President of the extensive
evidence I have of the ANC manipulating the internal democratic
processes within the IFP and utilizing dirty trick techniques to
undermine them. Massive money was changing hands, promises were made
and violence was again resorted to, to subjugate people or elicit
I mentioned public remarks made by the
Minister of Human Settlements, Minister Tokyo Sexwale, that the IFP
was persecuting its National Chairperson. I also pointed to
interference by the ANC Women's League in KwaZulu Natal,
particularly Mrs Gcabashe. The President seemed surprised by what I
was relating to him, although these were documented incidents,
covered by the media.
He committed to confer with the Deputy
President, the Honourable Mr Kgalema Motlanthe, that they might
reproach Minister Sexwale together.
Yet on the 18th of August 2010, I met with
Deputy President Motlanthe, and he was taken by surprise by the
things I told him. The President had not apprised him of our
conversation. They had not discussed it at all.
Matters had deteriorated since my meeting
with the President, as members of the ANC Women's League had taken
advantage of the Women's Parliament hosted by the KwaZulu Natal
Legislature, to hurl insults at me and declare their support for Mrs
Zanele kaMagwaza Msibi. They sang, "Zanele is ours", and asked what
kind of a man is afraid of a woman. This was not done behind closed
doors, but in the public eye.
The Deputy President expressed deep concern
over this incendiary behaviour by the ANC. Thus, when I attended the
launch of the Local Government Elections on the 12th of January this
year, I asked the Deputy President what progress had been made in
resolving these problems. The short answer is; none. I cannot help
but wonder how serious the President's advice to me was on the 16th
of July last year. What do I make of what has happened since then?
When Mrs kaMagwaza Msibi took the IFP to
court in November last year, she was supported by hordes of ANC
members, such as Pastor Vusi Dube, in Pietermaritzburg. Since she
lost that court case and launched her own party, violence has
escalated. The violence stirred up by the "Friends of VZ", who
supported Mrs kaMagwaza-Msibi in destroying the IFP, took its toll.
Now the "Friends of VZ" have officially become the NFP and some ANC
leaders are bankrolling their campaign.
The tensions are mounting. People have died
in Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal. On Sunday we buried IFP Councilor Mr
Simon Shange, who was assassinated in Mandeni.
The rift that opened in the IFP may have
begun with Mrs kaMagwaza-Msibi's personal ambition. But certain ANC
leaders saw the fracture, took up a chisel, and dealt a terrible
blow to the IFP. They did it with money and propaganda. They did it
to finally destroy their old opponent. And they did it while
laughing at me, believing they had finally defeated Buthelezi.
My question, looking back on 17 years of
democracy, and even further back to the role I played in the
liberation of this country, is why some people are still intent on
destroying me and the IFP. How can a weakened opposition possibly
bode well for democracy in South Africa?
The ANC's Premier in KwaZulu Natal, who is
also the leader of the ANC in KwaZulu Natal, Dr Zweli Mkhize, has
arrogantly proclaimed that the IFP must not drag the ANC into its
problems. Yet Dr Mkhize knows well who dragged these problems into
the IFP. He himself was seen by several people meeting with Mrs
kaMagwaza-Msibi before she made the decision to tear away from the
IFP. It is disingenuous of the ANC to claim that evidence of their
interference in the IFP is bogus and counterfeit.
This was their cry when a copy of what was
alleged to be ANC minutes was anonymously sent to my office, in
which the ANC's support of Mrs kaMawaza-Msibi was clearly spelled
out. Now I have received another copy of what is purportedly
"strictly confidential and sensitive information". I want to put it
on record and will read it in its entirety -
"It has been resolved that local ANC
Branches in all KZN Districts must ensure that Mrs Zanele Magwaza
Msibi is receiving enough support as well as protection where ever
or whatever area she visit.
Members of the ANC throughout the province
need to be alert and aware that our rivals Inkatha Freedom Party has
a history of defeating the odds and win back their ravaged areas.
Therefore, the ANC President is calling on all comrades to be
cautious not to take their road mobilization and recruitment lightly
especially within Inkatha strong holds. Because Inkatha has strong
strategic values as proclaimed by Comrade Magwaza Msibi during the
briefing on the 5th December 2010
I have a concern about Mr. Vithi that he is
an asthmatic person, the NEC has suggested that the comrades must
select someone else to lead the M.K. members around KZN for the protection of
both the ANC as well as Magwaza Msibi.
I have approached the Umtata Comrades to
send us an alternative comrade to Empangeni Team.
It has been reported that some members of
Inkatha especially in Zululand are mobilizing and planning for the
let down of Mrs Magwaza Msibi, in her endeavors to campaign in
Zululand and surrounding areas. Comrades, Phindiwe Solani will
control the secret funding of such operations by comrade Vithis' Team. No comrade will be allowed to brief or
answer any questions from the media except comrade Sizakele Dyantyi
from Umzimkhulu, because comrade Magwaza Msibi together with the PEC
members had already concluded a deal with one of the KZN newspapers
to ensure that no negatively is published against Magwaza Msibi
because that will hamper her efforts to get more [people] members
from the IFP. The incentives for this media editor have already been
Comrades we have to coerce a number of
journalists into our bag otherwise if we fail Inkatha will rise
stronger than before.
After the launch by Magwaza Msibi the NEC
will assess the situation and decide whether to put more funds in
her efforts or she should just be asked to stand on her own or
dissolve the new name and wear the ANC cap without any conditions
from her [Magwaza Msibi]. The last briefing will take place at the
South Coast Sun Hotel on the 5th day of February 2011. The security
has already been arranged for that date and for [Magwaza Msibi].
Comrades 'Mayiwe' Inkatha 'Mayiwe'
What am I supposed to make of this?
And what am I to think of sworn affidavits
from the Mayor, the Speaker and the Caucus Chairperson of Umvoti
Municipality attesting to the fact that, during a Selection
Committee meeting on the 1st of February, ANC Councilor PG Mavundla
said that he had given financial assistance to the "Friends of VZ"
and was now funding the new National Freedom Party.
As Your Excellency knows, Councilor PG
Mavundla is the Chairperson of the ANC in the Bhambatha Region and a
close confidante of both the President and the Premier of KwaZulu
Natal, Dr Zweli Mkhize.
The Mayor of Umvoti states, "Clr PG Mavundla
then offered me some money should I follow others [to the National
Freedom Party] and even offered me the Diplomatic Post either at
China or India." The Speaker states that he heard Councilor Mavundla
"stating that he had paid for the accommodation of National Freedom
Party members at the Battlefields Lodge, in Dundee."
I have approached the President, and I have
waited for his response, and I have seen that there is no genuine
will to stop the patronage of certain ANC leaders in what is
supposed to be the final assault on the IFP.
I admire former President Nelson Mandela. He
had the integrity to be honest.
In April 2002 he said, "We have used every
ammunition to destroy [Buthelezi], but we have failed. And he is
still there. He is a formidable survivor. We cannot ignore him." I
admire his honesty. I wish that today's leaders were indeed building
on the foundation President Mandela laid; for he recognized the role
the IFP played in our liberation and he grasped the role we have to
play in the strengthening of our young democracy.
South Africa's democracy is on the threshold
of adulthood. We are a generation away from our painful past. Yet
when the President of our country stands before the nation and urges
everyone to participate in building a stronger, healthier, safer and
more prosperous democracy; does his invitation include opposition
Quoting President Mandela's words has no
meaning when President Zuma has become part and parcel of destroying
the IFP. In her book Chasing the Rainbow: South Africa's Move from Mandela to
Zuma, Dr Anthea Jeffrey highlights how the ANC regards opposition
parties as illegitimate and unnecessary. To the ANC, we are little
more than an obstacle to the success of their 'national democratic
Why is it so important to the ANC to destroy
the IFP and push Buthelezi out of politics? Why is the ANC, with a
66% majority, so obsessed with me; at my age? I am obviously a
stumbling block, but on which road? Perhaps I am a stumbling block
on the road towards the ANC's intended and long planned national
revolution, or a one-party state.
I cannot endorse the ANC's dream of
redressing the many imbalances of our society without paying any
cost. To create jobs, 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.
Our people can be patient, but they have a
low tolerance for lies. If the ANC wishes to nationalise mines, it
should say so openly, without playing semantic games between
"owning" and "controlling" mines and minerals. There is no reason to
believe that Government can do a better job extracting and selling
minerals than the private sector can. Neither can the ANC use the
State to reach for control of our country's strategic minerals, to
hand it over to foreign potentates in secret deals for its own
financial and political enrichment.
I have no doubt that the nation is asking,
"Can we trust our President? Can we trust our Government? Can we
trust the ANC?" The President cannot endorse the notion of
nationalizing mines, while also seeking to create job opportunities.
He cannot take several courses of action which are in conflict with
one another in the hope of pleasing everyone. This is an issue of
One cannot compartmentalize integrity. I do
not believe there is such thing as 98% integrity, for that is in
fact 2% dishonesty. Integrity comes at a very dear political and
personal cost. It requires taking a course of action which
inevitably pleases some and displeases others. Any action carries
the huge opportunity cost of all the other alternative actions which
could have been taken in its place. There is no integrity; there is
no leadership; there is no moving forward, when one tries to please
everyone at the same time and to be everything to everyone.
The President needs to take a single course
of action and have the courage to pull the entire country through it
at a fast pace. History will judge his success or failure. But he
cannot avoid this responsibility by paralyzing the country into
inaction or by taking a decade to do what must be done in a matter
As I say this, I must compliment those in
the ANC who are not involved in the last-ditch attempt to destroy
the IFP in my lifetime. Some leaders of the ANC have spoken to me
and expressed their regrets over what is being done to us. I
appreciate their concern and support. I appreciate their integrity.
When the ANC was embroiled in its leadership
battle in the run up to Polokwane, I did not poke my nose into their
troubles. I did not interfere or advise them on how to proceed when
COPE split from the ANC. There is a saying in isiZulu: "Inxeba
lendoda alihlekwa", as I said when our President was removed as
Deputy President. One does not laugh at another man's wounds.
The internal problems of a party are for
that party to sort out. It is malicious to interfere; but
unforgivable to deepen the wound, even for the sake of politics.
This is not about my legacy or my
reputation. It cuts to the heart of our democracy and begs the
question whether the ruling Party even believes in democracy at all.
Our country has suffered a political setback. Opposition politics
has been weakened. And people are dying because of what has been
done. This is not building on a foundation for reconciliation.
Rather it is dragging South Africa into the deadly undertow of the
ANC's need for power.
Ms Liezl van der Merwe,
Press Officer to Prince Mangosuthu
on 082 729 2510