The IFP in KZN would like to clarify the unprecedented and disastrous activities that resulted in the disruption and cancellation of the Department of Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) public event in Estcourt, in the north-west of the province, on Saturday.
According to our local leadership in Estcourt, the problem began when the Department decided to transform the government public meeting into an ANC political rally, using government resources.
Several loud-hailing vehicles branded with ANC logos were used to mobilize community members in the area and encourage them to attend the gathering. At the entrance of the venue where the government program was scheduled, individuals were handed free ANC t-shirts as they entered.
The IFP in Estcourt was also holding its own party meeting not far from the government event location. When attendees of the IFP meeting learned that those attending the government event were being given ANC t-shirts and the majority were dressed in ANC regalia, they decided to join the government public event as their own meeting had concluded.
As community members wearing IFP t-shirts began entering the government public meeting, Lindokuhle Percy Xulu, an ANC Youth League activist who also serves as the Head of Ministry in the Department of COGTA, took to the stage, seized the microphone, and started chanting slogans inciting violence. These slogans included phrases like “Niyabesaba Yini Na?” (translated as “Are you scared of them?”), to which the audience responded with “Cha, asibesabi, siyabafuna!” (meaning “No, we are not scared of them, we want them!”). Xulu didn’t stop there. He went on to sing ANC political songs like “Mshini wami,” creating a divisive atmosphere between those wearing ANC t-shirts and those wearing IFP t-shirts.
The IFP Inkosi Langalibalele local Mayor, who was present at the event in his official capacity, approached Xulu and pleaded with him not to politicise the government event. However, Xulu was not receptive to the concerns raised regarding the potential dangers of politicising the government event.
The IFP warns all ANC MECs to refrain from exclusively conducting their government programs in areas where by-elections are taking place.
This misuse of state resources not only amounts to maladministration but also undermines the intelligence of the residents.
COGTA MEC Bongiwe Sithole-Moloi should be the one reprimanding her party and the government for misappropriating government resources for political gains.
This trend sets a dangerous precedent as we approach the 2024 elections.
Politics and political campaigning should be kept separate from government programs.
Communities should receive services based on their needs, not their political preferences.
Allowing such practices to continue will only lead to more chaotic and tumultuous government events, which is detrimental to our vulnerable communities. It must be stopped.
Cllr Thami Ntuli
IFP Provincial Chairperson
Phone: 072 585 5000