Hon Velenkosini Hlabisa, MPL
President of the IFP
As the Official Opposition in KwaZulu-Natal, the IFP is extremely perturbed by the violence and chaos that rocked KwaZulu-Natal yesterday and overnight.
While we understand some may feel aggrieved over the sentencing of the former President, we cannot condone chaos, the destruction of property, putting lives at risk, or economic sabotage.
Our constitutional right to protest comes with responsibilities, which must be respected.
Furthermore, we take very seriously a baseless allegation from a former ANC Premier and former Cope leader, that resorting to violence is an IFP strategy that was somehow transplanted to the ANC when they recruited IFP members in 2008/2009.
As the IFP, we would like to put on record, in the strongest possible terms, that violence is never the solution and is in direct opposition to the IFP’s founding values of unity in diversity, solidarity and freedom.
Furthermore, it makes no sense to seek to hold an opposition party responsible for the rogue actions of ruling party supporters.
It is quite laughable that Mr Shilowa now seeks to shield his former party from owning up to their own mess while also denigrating the name of our President Emeritus in the process, which we condemn in the strongest possible terms.
The current protestors are mostly youth, making it very unlikely or even highly impossible that they were once members of another political party more than 13 years ago.
As a former senior leader in South Africa, it is very irresponsible of him to make claims that are devoid of truth and facts, and which could further inflame existing tensions.
As our country battles against the ravages of the Covid-19 pandemic, the values of unity and diversity have never been more relevant.
This difficult juncture in our history requires all of us – in particular, leaders from across the political divide – not to point fingers but to provide solutions.
The IFP calls on the leadership of the province of KwaZulu-Natal, police and intelligence services to stabilise the situation, and to restore calm and law and order, without further delay.
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