Nquthu: 30 October 2011
It is good to be in Nquthu, with people who
love South Africa. I thank you for welcoming the IFP here today
and for coming to share a time of reflection on matters that
affect you and me. We have come to Nquthu to talk about the
election results earlier this year, what they meant for our
future and what they are delivering right now. I have also come
to thank you for your support for the IFP, both at the polls and
throughout the storms of treachery the IFP faced since 2009.
There are many people in Nquthu who were not
swayed by the lies, propaganda and chaos sown by the "Friends of
VZ" as they sought to elevate Mrs kaMagwaza-Msibi to the helm of
our Party. Even as their plans began to unravel and Mrs
kaMagwaza-Msibi was forced to show her hand, you did not lose
direction. When she left the IFP and became the self-appointed
leader of the new National Freedom Party, the community of
Nquthu was not fooled into following.
Now you can say, as I say, thank God for
cool-headedness in the midst of the fire. For there are many
people who followed the "Friends of VZ" cohorts into the NFP,
only to discover that the NFP was nothing new. It was not a
fresh start. It was not a better deal. It was not a viable
alternative. In fact, it was nothing more than what I warned it
would be. Its formation was fuelled with ANC money and its
future was tied to the ANC.
I warned that there was collusion between Ms
kaMagwaza-Msibi and the leaders of the ANC in this Province, led
by the ANC leader of the Province Dr Zweli Mkhize and National
Minister Tokyo Sexwale.
When a suggestion was made by the IFP that the NFP must
talk to the IFP concerning so many hung municipalities after the
local government elections, Mrs kaMagwaza-Msibi and the leaders
of the NFP demanded that we should as a precondition for talking
to us withdraw the statements that I made before and during
local government elections that the NFP was in cahoots with the
ANC. And yet in the presence of Ms kaMagwaza-Msibi and leaders
of the ANC there was a dramatization of the political marriage
between the NFP and the ANC in Ulundi when a couple in wedding
attire was paraded in Ulundi.
That was to stress that their political marriage was
sealed. And the
ructions that have now taken place almost in all municipalities
where the NFP and the ANC are in a coalition have been caused by
the reluctance of former members of the IFP to work with the ANC
Many of those who left us and went to the NFP
have come back home. Even people within the NFP support the IFP.
But I am grateful that here, in Nquthu, political allegiance is
more stable. You were not tricked. You were not fooled. You
never left the party of integrity to chase the fleeting dream of
the NFP. Sadly, those who did, woke up to the cold reality of an
The May 18 Local Government Elections left
KwaZulu Natal with 19 hung municipalities. The message from the
electorate was that the IFP was still needed and trusted, but
the NFP had brought an element of uncertainty. What the
electorate did not ask for, however, was an ANC takeover. If the
people had wanted the ANC, the ANC would have won an outright
majority. They did not. But one municipality after the next was
handed to them on a silver platter by the NFP, who prided
themselves on being named the "kingmaker" after the May 18th
Of course, the ANC-NFP coalition was
inevitable. It was payback for the ANC's support and brought Mrs
kaMagwaza-Msibi closer to the kind of power she seeks. So
although the electorate did not ask for an ANC local government,
they got it. And although people who voted for the NFP did not
ask to get into bed with the ANC, that's where they were taken.
To my mind, that is not democracy. When the will of the people
is disregarded for political expediency, democracy is perverted.
Our political opponents and the media pundits
were quick to jump to the conclusion that the IFP was finished.
Somehow they assumed that governance was the soul of the IFP;
that if we were not in government, we would lose our purpose.
But the truth is that the soul of the IFP is in the service of
our nation, whatever form that might take.
At this juncture, the needs of South Africa
demand that the IFP take up the challenge of opposition
politics. As South Africa grows closer and closer to the ANC's
final goal of political hegemony and domination, a powerful
voice of opposition is needed; a voice that speaks with
integrity and fearlessness, with honesty and insight.
That is the voice of the IFP.
We have spent years navigating the waters of
governance, from the rapids of social need to the brackish
streams of bureaucracy. We know what can be done and how to do
it. We also know what cannot be done and how to be honest about
it. The IFP has not lost sight of its mandate.
In fact, if anything, the Local Government
Elections have cleared the waters and clarified the mandate of
the IFP. We must once again focus on providing moral leadership
and a voice of reason, to redirect South Africa's moral compass
to true north. This we must do for the sake of the many who cast
their vote for the IFP on May the 18th, and the many who will
suffer deteriorating leadership because they did not.
There are rumblings of change to come wherever
I go in South Africa. Where once the ANC seemed to be a rock that
could not be moved, it is now showing cracks and fissures that
could shatter the ruling party.
There are points of vulnerability that could
cost the ANC dearly as it faces its conference and its
centennial. The cracks in the ANC-NFP alliance began to show the
moment the alliance was formed, but they continue to grow. So
too does the discontent of our citizens, who have been promised
much, but given too little.
Something has to give. We are sitting on a
powder keg of social and political upheaval. This much is clear
from the march on Thursday that split the ANC and its alliance
partners, COSATU and the SACP, on the issue of nationalization
and land expropriation. These issues may very well be the hammer
and chisel that finally shatter the cracked ANC. It is obvious
that investor confidence means little to the ANC Youth League. A
message like that, emanating from within the ruling Party's
structures, is damaging to South Africa's economic prospects.
I have taken a firm stand against the
nationalization of our mines since this debate opened. There is
no reason to believe that government could do a better job at
running the mining industry than private organizations. In fact,
every industry run by government has suffered losses and
continues to operate at a loss, including Denel and South
African Airways. There is no reason to believe that
nationalizing mines will bring any benefit to ordinary South
This has just not been thought through. It is
an easy-to-sell slogan that the ANC Youth League is feeding
impoverished, unemployed, disillusioned people. They are taking
advantage of vulnerable South Africans. That is why so much is
said about "economic freedom in our lifetime", while nothing is
said about how this harebrained plan of nationalization would
Where would the money come from to buy out the
current shareholders? Or is Mr Julius Malema suggesting that mines
be expropriated without compensation the same way he believes
land should be taken without permission? These are dangerous
ideas that can not only spark disinvestment, but social
divisions and political splits.
Not everyone is fooled by the ANC's bravado.
It is clear to any thinking South African that all is not well
in South Africa, and shouting a few controversial slogans is not
going to change anything for the better. Change demands
political will and courage. It demands integrity and a
commitment to right action. These things are lacking in the
ruling party. But they are the hallmark of the IFP. Our
supporters know this. The community of Nquthu knows it. Even the
NFP knows it is true.
Perhaps that is why we saw the municipality of
Mtubatuba being taken away from the ANC and given to the IFP
last week, by none other than the ANC's alliance partner, the
NFP. NFP councillors voted to install an IFP Mayor and an IFP
Deputy Mayor in Mtubatuba, and they claimed it was the will of
the people. On 20 October the Daily News reported one NFP
councillor as complaining that the ANC continually undermined
them in their alliance and even called them "puppets". That is a
name the NFP particularly detests.
But it speaks volumes about where the NFP
stands on the political landscape. Its presence is tolerated by
the ANC because it serves their purposes. The leader of the NFP
knows that she cannot afford a repeat of Mtubatuba, or of
Umlalazi, where NFP councillors also defied their alliance and
voted IFP. I have no doubt she will rein in her councillors. But
there will always be a question mark over where their hearts
really lie. The same
happened at Mtshezi.
It does seem as if there is no love lost between the NFP
Councillors and their chosen partner the ANC.
The complaint is that the leader of the NFP sealed this
political marriage of convenience without consulting members of
her Party. Whatever
the leadership of the NFP do in cracking the whip to those NFP
Councillors who are so disillusioned with the so-called
coalition between them and the ANC, all these storms tell us
that the political marriage of convenience is unstable.
We cannot gloat over these circuses in the
NFP. We should not
waste our time ridiculing them.
As I have said while they have a message of instability
for us in the ANC/NFP coalition, the leadership is doing all
they can to rein in the revolting NFP Councillors. We have the
challenge of working flat out for a successful
National Conference. We need everyone of you to ensure that you
have renewed your membership fees and that we get credible
delegates to our National Conference.
There is no such question mark over Nquthu. On
May 18th many of you went to the polls to vote for the IFP.
Against the odds, the IFP maintained support in several places,
because - even through the valley - the legacy of the IFP was
enough to sustain hope. We weathered this storm, as we have
weathered many storms before it. And we emerged stronger.
As the President of the IFP, I thank you for
your support. I thank you for remaining faithful to the ideals
of the IFP; ideals that we share with the people of goodwill. I
thank you for remaining steadfast even under the onslaught of
lies and deception created by our political opponents. I thank
you for casting your vote for the IFP.
You were not alone. 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 1.2 million times the
people chose the IFP.
I challenge anyone to claim that the IFP is
irrelevant or that our time is up. Such a claim is laughable in
view of the facts. We are again the third largest political
party in South Africa. Clearly the IFP has a crucial role to
What all of this means is that a great deal of
work lies ahead for our Party. We must accept the responsibility
which the electoral result has cast upon us and take up the
challenge of opposition politics. We must look to our new role
and allow ourselves to become inspired by the possibilities. We
are entering radical, no holds barred opposition, where every
fight belongs to the IFP. We are not going to wait until 2014 to
regain our position. We have already taken up our position and
it is from here that we must fight.
We suffered a setback in May this year, but we
were not defeated. And now our fighting spirit is back. There is
no question that South Africa still needs the IFP. There is no
question that our people want us to keep going, gain ground and
become stronger. With that groundswell of support, we will
engage our upcoming elective conference as a watershed moment.
It will be the moment to determine where we go from here.
There is no option to stand still. The only
way is forward. I urge you to find your fighting spirit and join
us again as we push forward. The IFP is the voice of opposition;
opposition to corruption, opposition to empty politics,
opposition to greed. We are the voice calling for integrity
among our country's leaders, stricter financial controls in our
municipalities, and the opening of opportunity for all South
Africans to become self-reliant.
I support social grants, and was the first to
extend them as the Chief Minister of the erstwhile KwaZulu
Government. But I know there is more dignity in work. People
fare better both psychologically and physically when they are
able to meet their own needs. For this reason, I have always
advocated self-help and self-reliance. I have championed
education as a means to liberation, and subsistence farming as a
means to achieve food security. For all the talk about
development, South Africa remains a welfare state. That is not a
Today we have more than 13 million people who receive
social grants. This is unfortunately unsustainable.
There are steps we need to take as a country
to move from the path of greater debt, greater poverty and
greater sorrow, onto the path of social and economic freedom.
Slogans won't get us there. It is going to take a leadership of
principle and experience. The IFP can bring that leadership to
the table. We will not wait to be invited. The electorate has
already demanded our presence. Many
in the electorate, particularly here in this Province, have not
forgotten what the IFP government achieved with so little in the
erstwhile KwaZulu Government.
We did not spend time crying over the shoe-string budget
that the KwaZulu Government was given by Pretoria; we
implemented our belief in self-help and self-reliance.
As we become the voice of opposition, may
South Africa triumph. I thank you for supporting the IFP.