National Assembly Farewell Speeches 2011:
Contribution by Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP
President of the Inkatha Freedom Party

National Assembly: Cape Town, 24 November 2011  


Mr Speaker,

Traditionally farewells are a time for reflection and reconciliation. Parliament has closed its deliberations this year during a political phase of divisions. Next year will see the centennial celebrations of our country's most important liberation movement, the first liberation movement in Africa.


The spirit of unity can only stem out of truth and political maturity. Truth and political maturity go hand in hand. I was very pleased that last night, at the Speaker's year end function, we all received a copy of Madiba's most recent book, titled "Conversations With Myself". I believe we need to regain Madiba's spirit of reconciliation and truthfulness.


For instance, that book publishes in full a letter that Madiba wrote to my wife, Princess Irene. As a single document, that letter vindicates the truth about my role in the liberation struggle and dispels twenty years of lies and vilification. This was an important gesture on the side of Madiba to foster truth and reconciliation.  Perhaps during the holidays, Members of this House may find the time to read that historical document.


Madiba has given us many lessons in political maturity. The agenda for reconciliation is far from complete. The threat of fundamental divisions remains. I am committed to national reconciliation. We should leave this Parliament this year in that spirit.


Some of us will meet tomorrow night to launch the Parliamentary Institute of South Africa, which wishes to be an expression of political maturity by bringing together Members of this House across party political divides, so that we may speak to one another under rules of confidentiality - but not secrecy - and openly share our dialogue with captains of industry, journalists, academics and leaders of civil society. This is a sign of the type of political maturity we must promote in our country.


I wish all the Members of this House, and their families, sufficient peace to always hear and follow the dictates of their conscience. Our conscience is the door through which God Almighty guides us. May God be with you and guide you at all times. I pray for all of us to allow God Almighty to make His voice heard in a special manner during the upcoming holiday season, so that we may receive guidance in all that we do for the sake of our country.


Ms Liezl van der Merwe
Press Officer to Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP
on 082 729 2510