Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP
President Of The Inkatha Freedom Party
Phoenix: 6 July 2016
I am honoured to join you in Phoenix this morning as Muslims throughout the world mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan. It is inspiring to see to many South Africans gather in unity. There is a real sense of community here this morning. May the energy of celebration and hope ignite a positive spark in our nation.
The ninth month of the Islamic calendar offered the opportunity for all adherents of the Islamic faith to fulfil one of the five pillars of Islam. It was a time of reflection and submission, restraint and self-discipline.
But it also offered the opportunity for families to gather daily and share the first meal of the day. Ramadan focuses attention on the daily reuniting of families around the dinner table; a significant and precious tradition that is often neglected in the hurry and bustle of life.
Having spent the past month in reflection on faith, it is my hope that Muslim families now come together and find relationships restored and unity kindled. May there be a renewed closeness in your families. For families are, after all, the first building block of a healthy society.
Sadly, in many communities in South Africa, families are fragmented and don’t know the blessing of harmonious relationships. While there is some disagreement in every family, for some the tension of broken relationships is a permanent state of being. Thus there is no refuge in family and no peace in coming home.
My heart breaks for South Africans who find themselves in that situation. I know that there are many elderly people living with tremendous stress, as they worry about their children and grandchildren. Theirs is not simply the anxiety of wanting the best for their families, but the deep distress of dealing with a daughter who has been raped, or a grandson on drugs, or a son who can’t find work to feed his children.
The realities in our country place great strain on our people. And this strain is beginning to show. Poverty-stricken South Africans are angry, not just because they don’t have proper houses, job opportunities or decent education. They are angry because they have placed their hope in people who are not delivering on their promises.
But ours is a democratic country. We are not helpless victims of a failing leadership. There are tools through which we can effect change, and foremost among these is the right to vote. I want to see change in our country. I want to see families strengthened and communities prosper. I want to see a leadership of integrity lead South Africa out of the present crisis.
Because of this, I have been campaigning across the length and breadth of our country, encouraging people to cast their vote on August 3rd in the Local Government Elections. I have brought a message of hope to many communities, and today, on this most significant day, I am bringing it to you. Change is possible, and the power to create it is in your hands.
I therefore invite you to become authors of a victorious future. Place your support behind a leadership you can trust. The IFP has been walking with you for 41 years. Ours is a long-standing friendship. It is time for this friendship to give South Africa what it so sorely needs: a leadership of integrity.
I ask you to make your mark for the IFP on August 3rd. May the unity of today continue and prosper.
I thank you.