Thirteenth Amendment Act, 2007 (No 23 of 2007)
Including Matters Relating to Moutse and Matatiele
Mkhuleko Hlengwa MP
IFP Spokesperson on GOGTA
In 1994 South Africa ventured into new waters and for the first time the collective dreams, hopes and aspirations of black South Africans found expression in matters of governance. In the truest sense of the word the notion that a democracy is a government of the people, by the people, for the people was restored.
27 April 1994 ushered in an era of a political dispensation and a Peoples’ Government which should hear the voice and action the wishes of the People. That is the essence of our freedom, and the ultimate goal of the struggle; that black people alongside all other South Africans would never have to struggle ever again.
Yet, this noble democratic ideal is not true for the people of Matatiele, Moutse, Khutsong, and Malamulele.
A democratic government, forcefully removed the people of Matatiele from KwaZulu-Natal and demarcated them to the Eastern Cape. Is this not what the apartheid regime did to our people, forcefully removing them from pillar to post like chess pieces against their will?
The majority of the people of Matatiele wanted to stay in KwaZulu-Natal and publicly rejected the demarcation legislation that consigned them to the Eastern Cape.
In a referendum over 80% of the People of Matatiele rejected their balkanisation into the Eastern Cape.
The IFP has long argued that by ignoring the will of the Matatiele residents as expressed in the public hearings and submissions, the ANC has effectively turned its back on public participation in law-making, which is one of its trumpeted objectives.
In 2007, 5 685 signatures against Matatiele’s ejection from KZN to Eastern Cape were received by the KwaZulu-Natal portfolio committee for local government, yet these voices were not heard. The wishes of the People of Matatiele fell on deaf ears. The people of Matatiele found cold comfort in our democracy.
The IFP calls on the government to respect the ruling by the Constitutional Court of 18 August 2006, where Justice Sandile Ngcobo said in his judgment that the part of the 12th Amendment Act that altered the boundaries of KwaZulu Natal was invalid because it was not adopted in a manner consistent with the Constitution.
The continued abuse of state-power and government due process in determining boundaries must come to an immediate end.
The block transfer of Matatiele to the Eastern Cape, in exchange for UMzimkhulu was designed to ensure that the balances of power in KZN shifted in favour of the ANC.
We dare not continue on this slippery slope which trounces the constitution left, right and centre.
This type of political practice is the worst kind of abuse being meted out against our People, reducing them to zero, all in a desperate attempt to consolidate power by the governing party.
Our people are not vote fodder. They are victims of an unjust and unequal past and should find healing and development in a free and democratic dispensation such as ours. Their voice must be listened to.
The IFP remains firm in its solidarity with the people of Matatiele; their struggle is our struggle. And importantly we stand with the Constitution, and Constitutional Court judgments.
I thank you.
Mkhuleko Hlengwa MP
IFP Spokesperson on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs