27TH ANNUAL GENERAL CONFERENCE OF THE IFP
ULUNDI : JULY 19-21, 2002
RESOLUTION 1 : The way forward
Conference notes media reports and the views of certain commentators with regard to the possible future responses of the Inkatha Freedom Party to a range of political scenarios which may or may not eventuate in the near future as a result of the so-called “crossing of the floor crisis”. The IFP states therefore that:
- we will not have others determine our agenda;
- we intend to continue in our current role as a viable, credible, national opposition party determined to serve our members and supporters and all our constituents;
- our intention, until lawfully decreed otherwise, is to retain the premiership of KwaZulu Natal in accordance with the electoral mandate of the voters of this Province;
- we will at all times respect the democratic mandate given to us by voters and as such we will not co-operate in any changes to that mandate which are beyond our control or that are the creation of party-political manipulation, personal ambition and treachery;
- we are resolute in our determination to continue our struggle for the attainment of a vibrant multi-party democracy in South Africa;
- we will stand firm against those forces intent on creating a one-party State in South Africa;
- we will not serve under any condition in an ANC-led KwaZulu Natal Cabinet which usurps the mandate which the IFP received from the people; and
- we stand resolute in our long-held commitment to non-violence and negotiation in all circumstances; and
- we give a full mandate to the President of the IFP and the National Council to assess the changing political landscape and to determine the extent and conditions under which the IFP serves in the national government.
RESOLUTION 2: Strengthening internal democracy
- praises the President of the IFP for having raised the issue of strengthening internal democracy within the Party and for having stated that he has heard the cry of those who feel that many of our political representatives are not genuine leaders of people and have not been selected in accordance with the IFP constitution adopted last year; and
- fully supports the President of the IFP in his stated intention to formulate a plan which he will submit to National Council and present to the forthcoming Annual General Conference of the Youth Brigade, to ensure that the IFP constitution is fully implemented, that representatives are selected through internal elections and that the IFP no longer carries dead wood or those who have no real constituency.
RESOLUTION 3: Traditional leadership
- notes that in spite of many years of promises and alleged processes aimed at addressing the concerns of traditional leaders, nothing whatsoever has yet been done, concretely proposed or even planned by the national Government to solve the conflict between the powers and functions of traditional leadership and those of municipalities;
- deplores that once again false promises have been utilised to string along one of South Africa’s most important constituencies when there was clearly no intention of addressing its concerns;
- urges all traditional leaders to seek a solution to their concerns through the political process, joining forces on a national basis to ensure that the next government of South Africa will be more sensitive to their aspirations and more honest and forthcoming in its dealings with them;
- urges the Government of KwaZulu Natal to regularise the position of Traditional Authorities by ensuring that they may be brought into compliance with the relevant financial regulations through the KwaZulu Natal House of Traditional Leaders, thereby ensuring that no technical obstacle exists to Traditional Authorities exercising the full measure of their developmental role as part of the overall structure of government; and
- calls on the people of South Africa, irrespective of their social, cultural or ethnic background to recognise that traditional leadership is an important element in the overall equation of development, stability and progress of South Africa; and
- calls on all structures and councillors to play an active role in promoting and upholding the status of traditional leadership.
RESOLUTION 4: Racism and national identities
Throughout its history the Inkatha Freedom Party has championed, first and foremost, the noble quest of equality for all before the law and for all South Africans to live free from the evils of racism and sexism.
- notes with alarm, and unreservedly condemns, the recent hate speech articulated by prominent South Africans against fellow South Africans of Indian descent, one of whom shamefully includes a person professing to support our own Party;
- further recognizes the growing and pervasive tendency of certain black persons in positions of power and influence to attempt to silence critics, particularly those of other race groups, by accusing them of “racism” when they attempt to express themselves;
- congratulates the President of our Party for his ongoing and public initiatives to build strong and lasting bridges of common humanity between South Africans of diverse backgrounds and cultures;
- particularly supports his promotion of, and involvement in, the recent initiative to create an Inter-Ethnic Institute in the Province of KwaZulu Natal which will, in part, attempt to explore and constructively develop ways and means in which we can all learn about each other, build knowledge and friendships and celebrate our diversity;
- assures all persons of Indian descent living in the Province of KwaZulu Natal and elsewhere throughout South Africa, that the IFP will not tolerate racism within its ranks;
- categorically states that we will actively and effectively discipline any IFP member who publicly expresses personal viewpoints which fly in the face of our cherished principles of non-racism and reconciliation and, furthermore, that we intend to take a more vigilant approach at all levels within the Party and elsewhere towards the written and verbal expressions of others, whomsoever they may be; and
- recommits the Party to its longstanding philosophy of cultural and social pluralism, recognising the right to mother-tongue education and the need to preserve in South Africa existing mother-tongue institutes of higher education at all levels, such as Stellenbosch University, so as to ensure the long-term survival and evolution of a language.
RESOLUTION 5: Crossing the floor legislation
- the paralysis reached in the dispute on the constitutionality of the floor crossing by members of the Western Cape and KwaZulu Natal Legislatures;
- that all MPs and MPPs were elected through a strict proportional representation list system in which voters vote for political parties and not individuals;
- the recent formation of the Electoral Task Team specifically designated to draft a new electoral system and related draft legislation; and
- that the immoral and repugnant crossing of the floor legislation has been adopted for pure political expediency as a bilateral accommodation between the NNP and the ANC
- condemn the crossing of the floor legislation as a way of trampling over the democratic voice of tens of thousands of citizens;
- deplore the timing of the ANC’s decision clearly aimed at enticing members to cross the floor to secure its political control of KwaZulu Natal and the Western Cape and undermine the work of the Cabinet-approved Electoral Task Team, chaired by Dr F van Zyl Slabbert;
- condemn and deplore the crossing of the floor legislation as a display of scant regard for the sovereign will of the people of KwaZulu Natal, the Western Cape and the whole of South Africa;
- express total dismay at the reported financial incentives and other lures allegedly utilised to entice members to cross the floor;
- express our utmost contempt for those who betrayed the IFP and the sovereign will of the people of KwaZulu Natal by defecting from our Party and by abusing the mandate given by the voters to the IFP and not to them by crossing the floor; and
- reaffirm the decision of National Council to expel Mr MM Mackenzie and Mr MA Tarr from the Party.
RESOLUTION 6: Defending democracy
- recognises that democracy in South Africa is under attack and is threatened by the spectre of a one-party State;
- sees the symptom of a one-party State developing when the central government wishes to take control of all major social, economic and political activities creating a society in which a single centre of power decides potentially everything for everybody; and
- commits the IFP to defending a pluralist and open society in which no one entity can take decisions for everybody and in which today’s opposition forces may become tomorrow’s ruling majority through the democratic process.
RESOLUTION 7: Provincial autonomy
- recognises that the issue of federalism is more relevant and important than ever before because only autonomous provinces may provide checks and balances to the increasingly centralistic and autocratic nature of the ANC-led national government;
- calls on all provinces to recognise that they have a critical role to play, and urges them to fulfil the full measure of the powers and functions to which they are entitled under the constitution, because it is their inactivity and timidity which is allowing a centralistic and possibly one-party state to come into being;
- urges provinces to apply their minds to the problems affecting their citizens and developing their own solutions through the strength of their own convictions in the same fashion as the Premier of KwaZulu Natal did when he took the initiative to break ranks with the national government and begin saving lives by adopting policies on HIV/AIDS that differed from those of the national government; and
- supports the call by the President of the IFP for the formation of a national alliance to promote growth, prosperity and development.
RESOLUTION 8: HIV/AIDS
Conference notes that the scourge of the HIV/AIDS pandemic is causing untold suffering to the people of South Africa in general and to many millions of victims and their families in KwaZulu Natal in particular. For many years the Inkatha Freedom Party has urged the national and provincial governments and citizens generally to adopt a multi-strategy approach to this crisis. Conference therefore:
- acknowledges the efforts of our President, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, to refocus the attention and attitudes of members of National Cabinet with regard to this issue;
- thanks the Premier of KwaZulu Natal, Dr L P H M Mtshali, for his courage and determination in attempting to ensure that HIV/AIDS patients receive the best possible medical treatment available and in so doing successfully taking the issue on their behalf to the highest court in our land;
- applauds the clear vision and unequivocal direction of IFP leadership in moving to put an end to elements of obvious confusion within the Ministry of Health and within the central government on HIV/AIDS-related issues;
- calls for national and provincial Governments to adopt the approach that both treatment and prevention must be seen as equally critical components in the war we must wage against this insidious disease;
- congratulates all concerned at the Nelson Mandela Medical School in KwaZulu Natal for their outstanding achievement in successfully putting forward a proposal to an agency of the United Nations which subsequently resulted in this Province being awarded an amount reported to be approximately R600 million for specific HIV-AIDS-related projects;
- pleads that the National Minister of Health ensures that this excellent initiative by the Nelson Mandela Medical School is not jeopardised in any way and calls for IFP leadership to closely monitor this matter and to try to protect this initiative from inappropriate interference;
- implores fellow South Africans to look to themselves for protection from the reach of HIV/AIDS and to understand that responsible personal behaviour is a vital element in this regard;
- believes that traditional cultural practices can positively educate and protect individuals and communities;
- urges care and compassion for those afflicted and a recognition of their right to their dignity and to be treated by all concerned with the utmost professionalism; and
- recognizes that the plight of HIV/AIDS orphans must now be placed at the top of the agendas of the national and all provincial governments.
RESOLUTION 9: Sustainable development
- praises the President of the IFP, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, for having re-stated once again the inseparable connection between sustainable developments and true democracy;
- notes that the countries of the world are preparing to discuss sustainable development at the forthcoming UN high-level conference to be held in Johannesburg next month;
- notes that almost ten years after liberation, South Africa has not yet embarked on an accelerated plan of sustainable development;
- urges the Government to take heed of Minister Buthelezi’s often repeated appeal to take all possible measures, even those which may be regarded as drastic, to accelerate economic growth in a sustainable manner, because only through economic growth can employment be generated and the scourge of poverty redressed; and
- deeply regrets that employment generation stands out as one of the national Government’s major policy shortcomings and delivery failures, and therefore urges the Government to change its approach and recognise that the IFP’s economic policies should be implemented, now that the ruling party’s poor results show the inadequacies of its policies.
RESOLUTION 10: NEPAD
Conference takes pride in the leading role South Africa played in the formation of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the untiring efforts of President TM Mbeki in continually urging the G8 group of nations to prioritise Africa on their world economic agenda.
- that a monumental step forward has been made in bringing together African nations to consider an integrated plan for common development, growth and future prosperity;
- urges all countries of the world to join hands with Africa in bringing about world-wide social justice and balanced development;
- that the IFP philosophy of self-help and self-reliance should be applied on a continental basis as the path through which Africa can raise itself out of its present under-development, and as a platform on which on an equal basis and with equal dignity, Africa can approach the countries of the world to take an equity interest as partners in Africa’s renaissance; and
- in the inclusive approach adopted in promoting NEPAD on a continental basis, while cautioning that this approach should be balanced with practical considerations and a steadfast commitment to true democracy.
RESOLUTION 11: The African Union
Conference salutes the formation of the African Union in Durban, KwaZulu Natal and once again acknowledges the role played by the Government of South Africa and congratulates President TM Mbeki on his selection as its first chairperson.
- that the formation of the African Union represents a watershed historical event for our continent;
- that the notion of an African Union fulfils long held hopes for economic prosperity, social stability, democracy and widespread development;
- that the African Union must work with and seek partnerships with genuine, advanced and prosperous democracies;
- that the African Union must be concerned with democracy and development and must not be hijacked by leaders who manipulate it for ulterior causes;
- that the very notion of an African Union requires it to be forward looking and progressive, rather than exist as a club in which to gather grievances and apportion blame for past wrongs;
- that the African Union should move from being a mere international organisation which does not yet exercise any power or perform any functions of its own, to become a centre of international integration for certain selected matters or policies, as advocated by the President of the IFP since January 1992; and
- that the African Union should be committed to promoting good governance, true democracy and economic integration amongst its members as the basis for common development and future prosperity.
RESOLUTION 12: South Africa needs Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Conference once again records its respect and gratitude to the President of our Party, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, for his untiring and arduous service to our nation and to the principles for which the Inkatha Freedom Party stands.
Throughout his entire adult life, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi has been publicly committed to the attainment of decency and democracy in our land and to the freedom of all its peoples from racism, sexism, poverty, hunger, disease, despair and ignorance in all its forms.
His consistent example of service before self should be a shining beacon of inspiration to all who profess to support the aims and aspirations of our Party. We again exhort members and all who look to the IFP for hope and for guidance, to attempt to emulate and to propagate, in whatever way they can, the IFP President’s words of wisdom, and character of excellence and honesty.
We thank our President for all he has done and continues to do for our Party and for South Africa and for the great personal sacrifice which both he and his family endure in the quest for the positive human and economic development of our country and its people.
Conference commits the Party to vigorously support its President in bringing stronger and better leadership to South Africa.