Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP
President Of The Inkatha Freedom Party
Honourable Speaker –
A house divided cannot stand. We have seen the evidence in fallen dynasties and fallen empires. Must we watch it happen to Africa’s oldest liberation movement?
This is no longer about the voice of the opposition, of NGOs, academics and religious leaders. The cry for the President to step down is echoing from all corners. It’s on the lips of stalwarts of the ANC, spoken from the heart of men and women who liberated our country, pledging their lives to a noble cause.
I worked with these men and women as we struggled for freedom. They are veterans of the ANC who have never abandoned their cause or their party. Many have held high office, as ministers and members of the NEC.
To brush aside their concerns for their party, and for our country, is an act of unimaginable obstinance.
But the President will not listen to my advice.
He would not heed the Public Protector, the warning signals from the economy, or the message from the ballot box. He will not, as Secretary General Mantashe avers, listen to his own conscience, for that has long been silenced under the cajoling hurrahs of his inner circle.
Thus a movement that has stood for 104 years is crumbling, and it’s taking South Africa with it. All this, for the sake of one man.
I do not want to see my country destroyed. Neither do I wish to see the ANC crumble. It’s the party of my youth, started by my own uncle Dr Pixley ka Isaka Seme. It’s the party of my mentor, Inkosi Luthuli, and of stalwarts with whom I worked for decades, including Mandela and also Tambo.
If the ANC is destroyed because of the obduracy of a few, our entire continent will have suffered a blow. Our history, our legacy, all that we fought for, will be reduced to a lesson on the ravages of corruption.
This may be a futile exercise. But the IFP will do what is principally right. We support this motion, for we have no confidence in the President’s moral leadership.
As Martin Luther said, “Here I stand, I can do no other.”
IFP Media, Parliament