Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP
President Of The Inkatha Freedom Party
I have often affirmed that the IFP will support Government where Government does the right thing, and we will support the President when the President does the right thing. But when they don’t, we will speak truth to power and loudly oppose it.
Unfortunately this has been a year of almost non-stop ‘speaking truth to power’.
2016 has been a tough year for the National Assembly, often marked by frustration and distraction. There has been anger and animosity, and much has been said about the President, both from the opposition benches as well as within his own Party.
But behind all the laments over the state of our country and its leadership, lies a deep patriotism. It is not out of hatred for the President that we speak. Those who seek what is best for South Africa are not enemies of the President, but patriots who are concerned about our nation’s future.
Thus, as we enter now into a time of peace, commemorating the birth of the Prince of Peace, let there be peace between us. Let us look at one another as fellow patriots, not as enemies. Over this festive season, let us spend time praying for our country.
Looking back on 2016, we recall some great losses, including former Minister Makhenkesi Stofile, the Hon. Dene Smuts and Mr Clarence Makwethu. We also remember great celebrations, including the 80th birthday of the Hon. Mrs Madikizela-Mandela, and the wedding of our Honourable Speaker.
2016 was a year of big decisions, including South Africa’s withdrawal from the International Criminal Court. But it was also a year of avoiding decisions, which has kept the unaffordable nuclear spend on the table, as well as prolonging the debacle at the SABC.
One thing we have learned in 2016 is that, when we work together, remarkable good is achieved. This year’s greatest achievement is undoubtedly the victory for medical innovation. We honour the late Hon. Dr Oriani-Ambrosini who opened the door, and we thank everyone in this House for walking through it.
May 2016 be remembered not only as a year of economic decline, political skulduggery and growing corruption, but as the year that we as MPs fought for the health of our nation.
Honourable Speaker, both in this House and in Committees, the IFP remains the voice of reason. Despite Parliament providing little research assistance to smaller parties, we have contributed wisdom to every debate. We do this for the sake of a country we love and a nation that has asked us to serve.
On behalf of the IFP, I wish us all a healthy and peaceful festive season.
IFP Media, Parliament