The ANALYSIS piece “Why the silence on these ills?” by Vusi Shongwe (Mercury, 23/12/2015) is indeed thought-provoking and deserving of response.
Whilst we as the Inkatha Freedom Party largely agree with the sentiments espoused by Shongwe, we are also of the view that these sentiments provide fertile ground for analysis and debate around the status quo. It is true that most in church leadership have deviated from their true calling in serving their respective communities. We are of the view that this introspection should not be confined only to church leadership but must be extended to include all faith based organisations, NGOs and civic structures. These institutions have a vital role to play in stemming the tide of social decay that is bedevilling our nation.
In seeking tangible solutions to these social ills, we are reminded that there are in our midst many faith based organisations and NGOs that provide essential services in the absence of government intervention and financial support. There are many foreign missionaries who volunteer their time and expertise to provide humanitarian services to our people, however their efforts are often frustrated by red tape imposed by our government and this must be addressed at a political level.
With regard to moral leadership, we as a nation do not have far to look when we have in our midst a person of the calibre of His Royal Highness Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi who for decades has been the moral compass of South Africa. We can proudly make this claim because in the face of the AIDS pandemic, he was the first national leader to publicly reveal the impact of this deadly disease on his own family. We are also reminded that it was though his leadership that anti-retrovirals were made available nationally to pregnant mothers thereby saving thousands of lives. As a moral leader Prince Buthelezi embraces all religious groupings and social structures in seeking solutions to uplift society. Such is the capacity of his political acumen and moral leadership that he was appointed to act as President of South Africa no less than 22 times by former Presidents Mandela and Mbeki.
Prince Buthelezi is endowed with immense knowledge, political experience and moral convictions, but it is tragic that due to political machinations his talents are not being fully utilised by those who wield political power.
As we look forward to the new year these social maladies should not hang over us like a dark cloud. If only those in positions of authority would set aside their differences and utilise the potential of all people of goodwill, then we could realise a South Africa that we can all be truly be proud of.
BLESSED GWALA MPL
IFP National Chairman
2 Durban Club Place, Durban