Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP
President Of The Inkatha Freedom Party
Hluhluwe: 20 September 2015
I have come to Hluhluwe today with one purpose: to urge you to vote.
In 10 days’ time, on Wednesday the 30th of September, voting stations will open in ward 3 of Hluhluwe and a by-election will be held. On that day, the power will be placed squarely in your hands to determine the future of governance, development and service delivery in this place. You will be asked to decide what is best for you, for your family, and your community. The result of this by-election will have deep consequences.
After 21 years of democracy, I think every South African understands that it matters who is at the helm. Different parties have different priorities. While we all believe in democracy, for instance, some believe that all the power should be held at the top by a few, while others believe it should be devolved to the lowest level of governance, closer to the hands of the people. The day to day administration of Hluhluwe is therefore directly affected by who sits on the municipal council and which party they represent.
As you prepare to elect a councillor on the 30th of September, I want to give you a few good reasons to vote IFP.
In the IFP, everything we do is underpinned by a set of values. It is thus easy to predict where the IFP will stand on any given matter, for we always stand on the side of social justice, integrity and the long-term interests of our country. Over forty years the IFP has been serving South Africa on the basis of what is good and right for all our people. We don’t serve a narrow, exclusionary agenda, for we know that every South African shares a common destiny.
This is why the IFP was at the forefront of creating social cohesion long before democracy. Our leadership in this province ensured that social cohesion was high on the agenda even in terms of the administration of governance. Through the work of the Buthelezi Commission and the KwaZulu/Natal Indaba, we opened the way for shared governance across colour lines before 1994. In fact we shared governance through the KwaZulu Natal Joint Executive Authority when apartheid was still in force.
Thus we led the way, giving the example of how governance for all, by all, could be achieved. The IFP specialises in practicalities, rather than rhetoric. When we speak, we speak simple truth, and we back it up with action. There is great danger in the present kind of politics that is all about firebrand rhetoric and division. It makes the same mistake apartheid made, acting on the premise that South Africans of different races have separate destinies within this country.
The more we hear this lie espoused, the more people begin to align themselves according to race all over again. That is dangerous for our country, because the truth is that we need one another. None of us can move forward at the expense of another. We must move forward together, or together fail.
This is particularly true at this juncture, when our country faces a severe economic crisis. It is going to be years before our economy recovers enough to begin creating the jobs that are needed. We need to pull together at this point, and help one another. If we embrace exclusionary politics now, we will only weaken our future.
The IFP has always attracted people of goodwill who seek the best for our country. We have also attracted thinking South Africans; people who are not led about by empty promises and meaningless ideas. Because of this, the IFP is able to make a difference for good. Within the IFP family, every member has a contribution to make and every contribution is valued.
This makes the IFP unique. We are not in it for power. We are in it for the chance to make a difference in the country we love. That is the kind of leadership Hluhluwe needs.
I do not want to dwell today on the many good reasons to reject other political parties. The facts are more than obvious. In countless municipalities across our country there are service delivery failures, weak leadership, incompetence and corruption. The ANC has proven itself untrustworthy with your vote. Its coalition partner, the NFP, has let you down. The EFF is playing with fire through empty rhetoric, and the DA is realigning politics back into “us” versus “them”.
There is only one party standing up for social cohesion, speaking truth to power, and earning your vote through service excellence. That is the IFP. The IFP is the clear choice for Hluhluwe. We are a known quantity, tested over time, and proven to be reliable, competent, and willing.
Over the past few weeks, leaders in Hluhluwe have been going door to door preparing for the coming by-election. We have been registering people to vote. We have been engaging you on issues of governance and issues that affect your day to day life. And we have been growing the IFP family.
We are doing this because we know that strengthening the IFP in every by-election gives us the opportunity to strengthen governance in municipal councils. When you elect an IFP councillor, you empower a party of substance with the mandate to serve your needs. This partnership between the IFP and Hluhluwe is a lasting partnership, one that extends beyond by-elections and beyond local government elections. It is a partnership that has endured over forty years.
I urge you to keep this partnership strong. On the 30th of September, use your vote. And use your voice. Talk about the IFP, get involved in an IFP initiative, become an IFP member, join an IFP branch. We are the home of people of goodwill and together we are making a difference for Hluhluwe.
It is however quite sad that owing to the culture of corruption that we have in South Africa, our elections are not fair fights in a democratic process. From 1994 corruption has extended its tentacles even into elections. This is documented. If you read Dr Anthea Jeffery’s tome ‘PEOPLE’S WAR’ you will find that even as early as 1994, there were allegations that the ruling party bussed people into the Province from other Provinces during the elections. This has gone on so far that right here on your doorstep of Hluhluwe in Jozini a by-election had to be frozen twice because of the ruling party transporting people from outside the ward in an effort to boost their numbers in order to win the by-election through such fraudulent means.
They have used these fraudulent means also at Abaqulusi. Even in Ntambanana more recently I warned our people to be as vigilant as the Jozini leaders of the IFP who weeded out outsiders who were trying to vote during the two Jozini by-elections. We now know that this is the game at which our political opponents have become adepts. There is no reason why the voters in this forthcoming by-election should not ensure that outsiders should not vote in this by-election when they do not reside here. Why should we allow such criminals to get away with such fraud. It is no use waiting until after the by-election takes place, to moan about it. Let us not let these people get away with murder. Our IFP members have in the other by-elections prevented these people from getting away with such corruption. Let us not tolerate corruption. It is the duty of each one of us if we are true democrats to fight it with all our might. I think it is Phillips who said that the price of democracy is vigilance.
I thank you.