Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP
President of the Inkatha Freedom Party
eMgeza : Mtubatuba
The stage is set for great change in Mtubatuba.
When I visited you last Sunday, we welcomed hundreds of people back to the IFP.
They had made the good decision that many South Africans are making; to return home to a party you can trust. Today, I am returning to Mtubatuba to raise awareness ahead of Wednesday’s by-election.
My remarks from last Sunday have been widely distributed, and you can read for yourself the details of what I said.
I explained what has happened in Mtubatuba that caused your municipality to become dysfunctional. I explained how neither the ANC not the NFP have been willing, in the past four years, to set aside politicking for the sake of serving you. Their marriage of convenience has wrought havoc in Mtubatuba.
But I also explained what we can do about this – how you can fire those who failed you and establish a new partnership that puts your interests first. Not a partnership between politicians, but a partnership between you and the one party you can trust: the IFP.
I encourage you to read my remarks again. A great moment of change is coming to Mtubatuba, and I don’t want anyone to miss out. Talk about it in your homes and on the street. When you go to the clinic, when you go to work, when you sit with friends. Talk about what you can do on Wednesday, when the polling booths open, to set things right in Mtubatuba.
I have one simple message as I visit today: Make your voice heard. Vote in these by-elections. Because if you don’t, those who have dealt treacherously with your municipality for the past four years will walk away laughing, and Mtubatuba will continue to suffer.
All these promises that have been made by provincial government, to build roads and improve infrastructure – these are promises from government, and we’ll hold them to it. It’s not the ANC suddenly delivering in Mtubatuba. This municipality has been under provincial administration for years. Now that by-elections are looming, they are finally doing the job they are supposed to do as government.
Don’t reward the ANC for that. Your government is supposed to serve you. Where were they for the past four years? Why have they only just appeared when all they could do for the past four years was politick and mismanage your municipality?
They don’t deserve another chance. And neither they nor their coalition partner deserve all the power, when they have failed you so miserably when they each had half.
This is not a choice between one coalition partner or the other. The election on Wednesday is a chance to get out of this mess entirely. This Wednesday, when you go and vote, I encourage you to send a strong message. Make your voice heard.
Shift the right of governance back into the IFP and change Mtubatuba.
Friends; don’t let your vote be bought. Your right to be heard is not for sale.
Believe me, there are those who think nothing of subverting democracy by manipulating the vote. They are so determined to win power that they are willing to compromise electoral freedom.
Let me tell you what happened in other municipalities when by-elections threatened to put the power into the hands of the people.
In Jozini Municipality, support for the IFP has been growing at a rapid pace.
Less than a year after the ANC/NFP took over through their marriage of convenience, the municipality was in serious trouble. It became obvious that neither of these parties was willing, or able, to serve with integrity or competence. Thus people were returning to the IFP, recognising that our values are not found in other parties, and the IFP’s values are essential in governance.
When the time came for a by-election to be held in Jozini, our opponents realised that it would be a tough race against the IFP. Instead of working to earn support, they bussed people in to register to vote, so that on the day of the by-election people from outside Jozini could decide who should lead Jozini.
The vote was rigged.
Thank God, this voter registration fraud was uncovered before the by-election.
But that wasn’t the end of it. The by-election in Jozini had to be postponed twice due to electoral fraud. Every attempt was made to subvert the voice of the people. In the end, the ANC beat us by just 9 votes.
Unfortunately, the NFP has adopted the ANC’s tricks. In 2012, during a by-election in Nongoma, an NFP leader was caught registering people at an FET College outside the voting area, in order to boost the NFP’s votes. In 2013, at Maphumulo, one of our electoral agents discovered a woman using her husband’s ID to vote. When we alerted the IEC, officials simply said they were tired, and hadn’t noticed. How much more fraud have our opponents gotten away with?
We are not dealing here with people who want a free and fair election. In April 2013 a by-election had to be halted in Abaqulusi when electoral fraud was exposed. The race was tight there too, and the electorate was fed up with our opponents.
The ANC’s record when it comes to electoral fraud is well documented. In Dr Anthea Jeffery’s tome: ‘PEOPLE’S WAR’ one reads on page 480 the following: “The matter of electoral fraud began to loom large. Various important safeguards against this have been jettisoned before the election began, and others were cast away in the confusion and disarray that subsequently arose. At the ANC’s insistence there was no voters roll and no requirement that voters had to be resident in an area before they could vote there. This opened the way for parties to bus supporters from areas of strong support to marginal districts, so that they could sway the provincial votes in the latter. During the election, the ANC was reported to have ferried thousands of its supporters from the Transkei to cast their votes in Southern Natal, where the number of voters cast was more than double the estimated population.” (Citizen 29 April 1994).
There you are, it started during the very first democratic election. It is a miracle that the IFP was able to beat the ANC in two elections in spite of all these dirty tricks.
In the year prior to the 2011 Local Government Elections, the Auditor General gave Abaqulusi Municipality a clean bill of health. Under the IFP’s leadership, the finances were in order, services were delivered and targets were met. Under the IFP, Abaqulusi was functioning as a good steward of the money and resources allocated from the provincial government.
But just one year after 2011, when the municipality was run by the ANC/NFP coalition, the Auditor General highlighted serious maladministration. The Municipality’s financial statements now recorded 15 million Rands worth of Irregular Expenditure; 19,1 million Rands of Unauthorised Expenditure and hundreds of thousands of Rands of Fruitless and Wasteful Expenditure.
No performance targets had been set. In other words, no commitment was ever made as to when and how promises would be fulfilled. Worse still, 19 million Rands was just sitting there, unused. The municipality had the money to deliver services. They just didn’t deliver.
Clearly our opponents can’t run an election campaign based on their performance.
They can’t say, “Look at all we have done for you.” But still they are determined to win by-elections. One of the greatest challenges you and I face in ensuring free and fair elections, is the fact that our opponents have deep pockets and a shallow conscience.
Let me give you one more example. One of the most telling instances of electoral manipulation took place in Nongoma. Support for the IFP was strong in Nongoma and we believed we would win the 2013 by-elections. But when the vote was counted, the IFP had lost. Something extraordinary had taken place. A number of ballot papers had not been counted, because the electoral officer had failed to ensure that they were stamped.
The IFP brought this to the attention of the IEC. Why should anyone’s vote be ignored because of a fault on the part of an electoral officer? We lodged an objection, and the IEC concurred. But instead of acting immediately to set the matter right, the IEC sent it to the Electoral Court. It took half a year for the matter to be resolved.
Finally, just before the May 2014 elections, the Electoral Court declared that all the ballots had to be counted. When that was done, the result changed. The IFP had in fact won in Nongoma. Thus the Electoral Court ordered the IEC to amend the results to reflect the IFP’s victory.
Was this just a technical glitch? The electoral officer who failed to ensure that votes for the IFP were stamped was in fact a member of SADTU. How can the IEC put SADTU members in charge of voting stations when SADTU is openly aligned to the ruling party and campaigns on their behalf? They are not independent observers. They have clear incentive to influence the outcome of the elections.
The IFP has done everything possible to ensure free and fair elections. We have launched a petition, which was signed by leaders of almost all opposition parties, urging the IEC not to appoint members of SADTU as Electoral Officials.
We have highlighted every form of electoral fraud, vote buying, bribery, intimidation and vote manipulation.
All we can do now is urge you to be vigilant.
You face a battle in Mtubatuba to make your voice heard on Wednesday. I want you to know what you are up against. If you see anything suspicious during these by-elections, speak to our party agents or tell the police. Voter fraud is a criminal act.
The only people who should decide who administers Mtubatuba, is you. It’s your vote. It’s your voice. Use it wisely.
The provincial government has already committed funding to Mtubatuba. You don’t need to vote ANC to get that funding. In fact, if the countless examples of the past are anything to go by, if you vote ANC, the promises of funding may very well remain promises.
But if you vote IFP, the funding owed to Mtubatuba by provincial government will actually be used to benefit Mtubatuba. We have proven, time and again, that the IFP administers municipalities without waste, without tender fraud, without mismanagement and without inflated costs. Under the IFP, finances are managed efficiently, achieving exactly what they were meant to, on time, for your benefit.
If that is what you want for Mtubatuba, then partner with the IFP. Make your mark for the IFP on Wednesday and get this municipality back up and running.
This is your decision. Let’s make it a resounding IFP victory.
IFP Media, Parliament