Hon M B Gwala MPL
At the very outset I record the Inkatha Freedom Party’s utter condemnation of the recent xenophobic attacks that have occurred in different parts of South Africa. These incidents have brought shame to our country not only on the African continent but throughout the world. Once seen as a country with the most progressive constitution and the pride of Africa, we now must hang our heads in shame.
I speak these words not as an afterthought. We can recall that in 2008, when our people necklaced Zimbabwean refugees and went on a murderous rampage against foreign nationals, it was His Royal Highness the Prince of KwaPhindangene, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, who is the President of the IFP, who visited the hotspots and spoke up on behalf of South Africa’s leadership in condemning the violence and calling for people to desist from such acts. Again early this month it was Prince Buthelezi who was the first national leader to go to the people in Isipingo and speak words that gave hope to the refugees sheltered there and to apologise on behalf of our nation.
In seeking solutions to these shameful incidents I urge government to include political parties, civil society organisations and representatives of foreign nationals. Government must not make a mistake and be arrogant in thinking that it can go it alone in resolving the shame that has tarnished our nation. This calls for collective wisdom devoid of point-scoring and grandstanding. Peoples’ lives are at stake and the future of our country hangs in the balance. If as leaders we fail to act with speed and responsible fortitude, the simmering tensions that still exist out there can again fuel the fire of violence.
I want to thank His Majesty the King for calling the imbizo to clear the lies that were being peddled by the Mondli Makhanyas of this world in the media and to call for an end to the violence.
On behalf of the Inkatha Freedom Party I convey sincere and heartfelt condolences to the families of all those who have lost loved ones as a result of these attacks. We are ashamed of what has happened and apologise on behalf of all South Africans.
We have faith that the values enshrined in the Freedom Charter and in the South African Constitution will lead us out of these dark times into a bright and prosperous future.
Mr Blessed Gwala, IFP Leader in the KZN Legislature, 078 290 5842