The Hon. Mr Mkhuleko Hlengwa MP
National Chairperson Of The IFP Youth Brigade
Just hours into vote counting on August 4th, congratulatory messages began flowing to the IFP. At the National Results Centre, opponents shook our hands with wide smiles, jovially calling us “the comeback kids”.
But as the final results emerged, more serious messages of support and appreciation started to come in. They came from ordinary citizens, business leaders, faith-based groups, journalists and political analysts. Messages came from all corners of South Africa, from London, the United States and Germany.
It reminded us that the IFP has many quiet supporters, who walk with us in abiding friendship. They maintain a deep and unwavering respect for our President, the Hon. Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi.
These people have watched with dread as South Africa moved away from the values and principles of the IFP. And they have prayed that, somehow, integrity would be restored to politics.
We went to these people with a simple message. We said, “Trust Us”. And they did. They knew that the IFP doesn’t lie. They knew the legacy of Prince Buthelezi, and they put their trust in the party of South Africa’s most respected statesman.
Because of this, the IFP celebrates today. We celebrate clear victories in Nkandla, Nongoma, Msinga, Big Five/Hlabisa, Mthonjaneni and Ulundi. We celebrate taking back Zululand District. We celebrate the cooperation agreements, based on the electorate’s mandate, that have restored the IFP to two more districts, and to local municipalities. We also celebrate having gained hundreds of thousands of new votes, which sends a clear message of the strength of the IFP.
But, above all, we celebrate our leader, for he steered his team with magnificent skill and enduring energy. My generation of leaders looks at Prince Buthelezi and wonders how we could ever keep up.
He has set an example of exceptional work ethic, and uncompromising integrity. He has shown us what it means to love our country, not just when we win medals, but in the midst of economic distress. He has taught us to express patriotism with our actions, giving our life’s work, as he has done, to the service of our nation.
So today we honour the Prince of KwaPhindangene. For as much as he has given South Africa through a lifetime of leadership, his greatest gift to us is hope for the future.
It is possible to turn this country around and place it on a path of growth. Thanks be to God, our people have stopped waiting for government to do it. They are doing it themselves, through their vote. They are shifting the balance of power towards a different kind of leadership; a leadership of integrity.
For that, the IFP says thank you.
Mr Mkulekho Hlengwa, MP
071 111 0539
IFP Media, Parliament