Amajuba District: 27 February 2011
When I visited Amajuba in April last year, the
cloud of discontent hung over our Party. We were locked in a battle
against a group of rabble-rousers calling themselves "the Friends of
VZ", and we were still uncertain whether our National Chairperson
was being honest with us when she protested her innocence and
pretended to support us. It was an extremely dark moment in our
But in the midst of it all, when I spoke in
Amajuba last year, I declared that my hope was rising. I didn't
expect it or anticipate it.
But somehow, even at our lowest point, I sensed
the tide of true supporters rising. The ructions in the IFP had
awoken a giant and the people of goodwill were stirring.
I thank God that I was right to have hope. I come
here today buoyed on the victory of the IFP, for we have overcome
our difficulties and our Party is rising again. I have come to
Amajuba to thank those of you who had the guts to weather the storms
in our Party. We in the IFP are survivors. We have great tenacity. I
am proud to stand among men and women who stood by the IFP. And I
Since 2009, we as a party have had a most trying
time. We performed poorly in the general election of 2009. And
sadly, instead of rising up to regain our lost ground, we were
assailed by some of our members whose ambition had been cut short.
Some of our members were on the election lists to be members in the
Provincial Legislature in KwaZulu Natal and in the National
Parliament in Cape Town. But, because we did not receive sufficient
votes as a party, they never made it to the Legislature or to
This is where it all started. Initially, I heard a
rumour that was whispered in the corridors that those who failed to
make it expected me, as President of the IFP, to remove those who
had made it to the KwaZulu Natal Legislature and to Parliament, and
replace them with themselves. In the first place, I could not do
such a thing. The IEC Rules do not provide for leaders of parties to
do that and I had no powers to do it.
Soon thereafter a group of young people emerged in
our Youth Brigade who clamoured for "transformation" in the Party.
Although I myself had been speaking about the need for renewal in
the IFP for several years, this group now demanded "transformation".
To this day they have not unpacked what they were after. Of course,
there was nothing wrong in their coming up with this demand. But
they made the mistake of voicing their demands in the media, rather
than within the Party's fora. This was a contravention of the
provisions of the IFP's Constitution.
The disgruntled bunch of malcontents who did not
make it to the KwaZulu Natal Legislature or to Parliament in Cape
Town then seized on this demand for "transformation". They hi-jacked
the youths' poorly enunciated demand to cover their own bitterness
at not having their ambitions realised.
The IFP's National Council found itself without
any alternative but to apply sanctions against those who contravened
the provisions of our Constitution. The National Council and the
National Executive Committee of the Party had no choice but to
charge the young people who were hosting a media circus at the IFP's
The group of malcontents used this opportunity to
rally around our then National Chairperson, Mrs kaMagwaza-Msibi.
They preyed on her own ambitions and used her to lash out at the
IFP. Those who were expelled from the Party began calling themselves
"the Friends of VZ". Our National Council was surprised by the
emergence of this group. And our National Chairperson, Mrs
kaMagwaza-Msibi, pretended that she was equally surprised by the
emergence of this group who called themselves "the Friends of VZ".
She made various statements in both the print and
electronic media disowning her so-called "Friends". She stated that
she so resented their use of her initials, VZ, which stood for her
name, Veronica Zanele, that she threatened to sue them for using her
name. She stated that, at the Elective General Conference, she would
ask us as members of the National Council to support her for the
position of Chairperson of the Party; a position that she held at
The strange thing is that the "Friends of VZ"
continued with their divisive activities and even produced T-shirts
on which slogans like "100% VZ" were inscribed. Mrs kaMagwaza-Msibi
continued to deny that there was any connection between her and the
"Friends of VZ" and averred that she had nothing to do with the
production of the T-shirts.
But she never carried out her threat to take this
group to court. The National Council therefore decided, on the
recommendation of the National Executive Committee, to compile a
report on the National Chairperson, Mrs kaMagwaza-Msibi, to
establish whether there was any connection between her and the
"Friends of VZ".
Once this report was compiled, it was clear that
there was enough evidence and some to spare confirming that she had
a lot to do with the "Friends of VZ". Thus National Council asked
her to appear before it to clear her name. But instead of appearing
before National Council, Mrs kaMagwaza-Msibi decided to take the
Party - the Inkatha Freedom Party - to the High Court in
There had been a High Court application by some of
the malcontents in which they sued us, as leaders of the IFP,
accusing us of not holding the elective conference and asking the
High Court to declare our positions as members of the National
Council defunct. They argued that our positions lapsed in 2009, when
the elective conference should have been held. That case was heard
by Madam Justice Pillay in the High Court, and it was dismissed with
costs. Then there was another case before the High Court brought by
messrs Wiseman Mcoyi, Nhlanhla Khawula and others, who also
sought an order of the High Court to the effect that we had no locus standi in judicio to hear the cases of the people who contravened
the provisions of our Constitution since, they argued, our term of
office had expired in 2009.
The interesting thing is that those who took the
matter to court were the leaders of the "Friends of VZ". Our then
Chairperson decided to combine her case against us with that brought
by the "Friends of VZ", when all along she had denied having
anything to do with them. The cases were heard as one case on the
12th of November 2010 by Mr Justice Patel. Judgment was delivered on
behalf of Mr Justice Patel on the 17th of January. It is now a
matter on record that their case was also dismissed by the High
Court, with costs.
At last the truth was revealed. Mrs
kaMagwaza-Msibi had lied to us about her ambitions to stand as a
candidate for the Presidency of the Party. And she lied to us when
she proclaimed she had nothing to do with the "Friends of VZ". In
her affidavit before the High Court, she declared that she is
prepared to stand for any position in the Party, including that of
President of the Party. The IFP argued in the High Court that we no
longer trusted Mrs kaMagwaza-Msibi after she had lied to us.
The truth is that Mrs kaMagwaza-Msibi was lying
all along. The National Freedom Party, which she has now launched,
was registered with the IEC in October last year. This shows what a
dishonest leader she is. She was drawing a salary as an IFP Member
of the Legislature for several months knowing that she no longer
supported the IFP; knowing, in fact, that she intended to launch the
National Freedom Party. From October 2010 when the NFP was
registered, up until the point that she openly declared herself the
leader of the NFP, she was content to take the IFP's money.
Mrs kaMagwaza-Msibi set a terrible example, for
the councillors that the IFP has now expelled were equally content to
draw a salary from the IFP, even while doing their utmost to destroy
the Party. These are the type of people, devoid of any integrity,
that now lead the NFP. They all masqueraded as leaders and members of the
IFP, when they knew deep in their hearts that they were no longer
part of the IFP.
These are the type of people who are now going to
present themselves to the people of Amajuba and elsewhere,
pretending to be worthy of your vote. What possible reason could
anyone have to trust these tricksters who deceived us for so long in
the IFP? Why trust someone who has proven they have no integrity?
Very few of them can even point to anything they have done while
they were councillors to assist the people of Amajuba in terms of
The media has made a meal out of the defection of
so many councillors. But the media does not know that many of them have
been receiving salaries as IFP councillors without delivering
anything to the people who elected them. In most cases, their
departure from the IFP has been good riddance. I am certain that
most of them would have liked to return in May, after the Local
Government Elections, as your councillors. But, as the hymn goes, God
works in mysterious ways; He has provided a way of ridding the IFP
of people who were doing nothing for the IFP or the people.
Unfortunately, none of this makes our task as a
Party any easier. We have lost a lot of time during the saga of Mrs
kaMagwaza-Msibi and her "Friends of VZ", who now comprise the
National Freedom Party. This means that each one of us must gird our
loins, as the task before us is enormous. We need to find the people
who can serve us better. It is good that we now know who is who, in
that those who have joined the NFP are now well-known amongst us.
But we are preparing for the Local Government Elections under
terrible time constraints.
I have come here to warn each one of you not to
make the mistake of underestimating the amount of work we have to do
within the next few weeks. We need to work hard to regain the hearts
and minds of our people, because propaganda is being peddled by
these NFP traitors that the NFP is the same as the IFP. It disgusts
me that they are taking advantage of the ignorance of some of our
people and are deliberately confusing them so that they will
unwittingly join the NFP.
After losing so much time as a result of all the
ructions that Mrs kaMagwaza-Msibi created in our Party, we have only
a few weeks left to get the IFP's message across.
I appreciate your coming here in such large
numbers to hear my message. I am encouraged by your numbers at this
rally. But you know what? - even if we come to these rallies in such
large numbers, it will not win us votes in the forthcoming Local
Government Elections. An election, as I always emphasize, is a
numbers game. We can rush around for a few weeks before the day of
the election, but that will not be sufficient to win us votes if we
have not registered enough people now at their polling stations.
We have only a few days before the 5th and 6th of
March which are the last IEC registration dates. I have come here to
ask you to register people today, tomorrow and every day until the
registration dates are upon us. Do not wait until the weekend of the
5th and 6th of March. Register people now, and keep registering people.
Let us go all out to ensure that our children who will be 18 years
old in May have IDs and are registered at the right polling stations
where they should exercise their voting rights.
There is a serious challenge concerning what is
called a Special Vote. There are parties that have abused the Special
Vote in the past to commit fraud. Until now, the Special Vote was
limited to national and provincial elections. But due mainly to
POPCRU who were agitating to be allowed to vote on a different day,
the law has been changed to make the Special Vote applicable in
Local Government Elections as well. Various categories of people can
use the Special Vote; those who are seriously ill, the disabled,
expectant women, and any other person who, for good reason, would
not be able to cast their vote on the actual day of elections.
I urge you to go all out to look for people who
fall into these categories. Identify them now, and arrange with them
now that a day before the election you will assist them to cast
their votes. As I have already warned, the Special Vote is fraught
with danger and poses a risk of fraudulent activity. This is not
just imagined. It has happened in the past. In 2006 people from
Mpumalanga Province were transported to Ulundi and Nongoma to
register as residents in order to enable them to come and vote on
the day of the election.
So the weekend of the 5th and 6th of March is
crucial. A lot of shenanigans can be committed on that weekend. I
say, "Watch Out!" Be vigilant. It is pointless to wait until these
things happen in the hope of wailing about them after they have
occurred. The saying that it is no use crying over spilt milk sums
it all up.
There is an enormous amount of work before us. But
we are now running unencumbered by the challenges we faced last
year. We are leaner, faster and wiser. We are stronger, more focused
and more committed. We are united in purpose, united in vision and
united as one IFP seeking the best for South Africa's future. I urge
the people of Amajuba not to be fooled by leaders with no integrity
who will come here to try and talk you into throwing your vote away.
Your vote counts. Make it a vote for the IFP.
I thank you.