HON MB GWALA MPL, KZN LEGISLATURE
Celebrating Mandela Day must give us great pride as South Africans not only because of the great leadership and wisdom of Dr Nelson Mandela, but also because the international community recognizes a son of our soil as a world icon. Countries across the world paid tribute to Nelson Mandela not only because he was the first democratically elected black President of South Africa but because he was a moral leader.
Nelson Mandela possessed a passion to serve the people of our country without being self-serving and engaging in corrupt activities. In areas of potential conflict, he was the voice of reason. He was a man of truth as he was not afraid to speak the truth as it is. We will recall that in 1995 he claimed that he had given the order to defend Shell House where ANC security guards shoot and killed people who marched in support of the Zulu Monarch.
He was only the ANC leader who admitted that there had been an agenda to get rid of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi he said I quote” We have used all sorts of ammunition to destroy him, but we have failed. He’s still there, we cannot ignore him, he’s a formidable survivor.” This proved what kind of a leader Madiba was. In this House there is no one who can stand up and admit his sins of trying to organise a plot to assassinate Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi. This is because the current ANC leaders lack courage and have no backbone to admit their sins in the public like Madiba did.
Furthermore, Madiba believed in reconciliation. This was evident when he appointed Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi Acting President of the Republic and with Hon Mbeki over 10 years for 22 times. When Mandela appointed him, he said I quote “Prince Buthelezi is an able and experienced leader of our country. If it will promote reconciliation we will all be happy. But the reason is that he is a highly competent and experienced leader”. But if we talk about reconciliation in KwaZulu-Natal between political parties, it has taken a back seat.
Madiba was not a hypocrite as some current ANC leaders are. This is evident as the ANC appointed Mr Kgalema Motlanthe to chair a High-Level Panel which has recommended that the Ingonyama Trust Act that was enacted just before the 1994 elections be repealed. It is unfortunate that Madiba has passed away where the country needs him the most as the ANC is busy undermining traditional leaders in particular His Majesty the King by trying to repeal the Ingonyama Trust. Let us not focus on Mr Motlanthe because the ANC (KZN former Premier, Sbu Ndebele) on the 13th September 1999 was quoted by the media saying that traditional Authorities be disbanded because they are useless.
The ANC must stop flip-flopping, lying to the people that they are not against the repeal of the Ingonyama Trust Act. We have challenged the KZN Legislature Speaker to tell the public about what views were contained in the submissions presented to the High-Level Panel on the Assessment of Key Legislation and the Acceleration of Fundamental Change, chaired by former ANC President, Kgalema Motlanthe, which included a call for the repeal of the Ingonyama Trust Act.
The Speaker must tell the world what she presented in that Panel because as Members of the Legislature we were not informed of any submissions concerning the Ingonyama Trust Act. Therefore, on behalf of whom those submissions were made as we were not informed? We are saying this because the Speaker was part of a Forum consulted on this Report.
It is highly important that the Speaker comes clean on this matter over the current uncertainty around the future of the Trust and wide-spread concern from different stakeholders including traditional communities and traditional leaders.
Again, on this matter even the ANC is divided with its own alliance partners. The SACP has broken ranks with the ANC and publicly called for the dissolution of Ingonyama Trust. We are not shocked and surprised by this because the ANC is full of hypocrites and peacocks who always want to parade showing its colours to everyone who cares to look. Mandela’s legacy should not be left in the hands of hypocrite politicians who seek to bath in the light that he left behind him. Furthermore, the KwaZulu-Natal’s ANC Youth League leader Kwazi Mshengu recently said as the ANCYL they are concerned about the “wishy-washy” position that the African National Congress had taken on the issue of land as the youth league was clear on seeking expropriation without compensation.
It is clear that despite ANC political hypocrisy, the ANC leadership that came after Madiba has failed to fight key issues like unemployment, inequality, poverty and many other issues that continue to suffocate this country especially youth in the remote rural areas, underdeveloped townships and squatter camps. Despite the wide-ranging improvements that have been made as a country it is our reality that we are still a society in which race determines many things such as opportunities and wealth. This is a challenge that requires serious reflection and decisive action. There is no need to create unnecessary confusion about the issue of title deeds as the Ingonyama Trust is dealing with this matter since its inception.
CORRUPTION AND MALADMINISTRATION
As the IFP we believe that to honour Tata Madiba we need to stop rhetoric about fighting corruption but action is needed. It is perplexing to hear some leaders who are accused of corruption singing praises about Madiba. It was an insult to Madiba’s family and in the eyes of the world when reports erupted that his funeral was exploited by unscrupulous officials and opportunists, resulting in corruption and R300-million wasted and misspent, as the Eastern Cape provincial government scrambled to pull it off with no proper plans in place.
As the IFP we are saying that the rule of law must be used to bring to book all those implicated in criminality.
UNEMPLOYMENT AND EMPOWERMENT
Mandela legacy must be about coming up with new strategies to eradicate unemployment in particular the youth. The government should spend more on community projects and new training programmes to open new doors for opportunities. If we are going to address the rising levels of long-term and youth unemployment we must work collaboratively to put effective social policy-oriented solutions back on the table.
RACISM & WOMEN AND CHILDREN ABUSE
If we are truly to celebrate the life of Tata Madiba we have enormous task of continuing to eradicate racism within our country. It’s high time that we now shift the focus and eliminate everything that is seen to be dividing our society.
Also, the IFP believes that protection of women and children must be a 365 days project championed by the perpetrators which is mainly men of this country. We would be doing Tata proud if all men in influential positions, traditional leadership and men around the country took a common decisive stand of rebuilding the generation of men that will be like the generation of Mandela who fought for a better country with everything they had. There has to be the necessary political will to treat this scourge as a priority.
ERADICATION OF POVERTY AND PROVISION OF BASIC SERVICES
On this day we must further commit ourselves in ensuring that poverty eradication remains the central and overarching objective of the government agenda. The IFP calls on government institutions to implement ‘holistic and multi-facetted’ anti-poverty strategies that will ensure the poor are liberated from hunger and other forms of sufferings. Otherwise if we don’t fight poverty and provide basic services, history will continue to harshly judge this current administration as our people are daily engaging in violent protests, burning infrastructure and looting to express their frustration with poor leadership. Many people still have no basic services such as water, electricity, proper roads and housing. This calls on government to speed up the process of providing services and must do away with the tendency of knee-jack reaction once people have raised their demands.
Let’s Honour Madiba through selflessness by solving all the challenges facing our people on a daily basis.
I thank you.