The Editor Business Day
Via email: [email protected]
In his letter, “Welcome back to SA, Mr President” (Tuesday 26 June), Dr Lucas Ntyintyane paints a picture of a President who has failed his people.
But he naively torpedoes his argument when he claims that President Zuma’s leadership style reminds him of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi’s, “rather than that of Chief Albert Luthuli or Nelson Mandela”.
The contradiction is glaring. Buthelezi worked closely with both OR Tambo and Inkosi Luthuli, who was his mentor. He continues a strong friendship with Mandela. Indeed, Buthelezi derives his leadership style from these political giants.
Countless political analysts and ordinary citizens have recognized Buthelezi’s vital contribution to securing democracy. He has received international awards like the George Meany Human Rights Award from the American Federation of Labour, Knight Commander of the Star of Africa from the President of Liberia, the Courage Under Fire Award of the American Conservative Union, and an honorary doctorate from the Alma Mater of Dr Martin Luther King.
He administered the meager resources allocated to KwaZulu under Apartheid, and built more than 6000 schools. The KwaZulu Government was the only one which had a budget in the black when in 1994 its accounts were turned over to the new unified South African Government. He has championed the fight against HIV/Aids and provided unparalleled leadership on labour legislation, traditional leadership, migration policy, education and industrial development.
Under Buthelezi’s leadership, the IFP was the first to roll out antiretrovirals to all expectant mothers. Because of Buthelezi, the IFP ploughed resources into infrastructure development and prioritized food security in KwaZulu Natal.
The KwaZulu Finance Corporation, which Buthelezi founded, ensured that many small businesses received funding. During his tenure as Minister of Home Affairs, Buthelezi piloted the new ID smartcard system soon to be rolled out by the Zuma-administration.
His achievements in bettering the lives of ordinary South Africans are endless. This is corroborated by former President Mbeki and President Zuma, who are on record saying in Parliament that Buthelezi still plays an indispensable role in promoting the values which sustain our democracy.
Dr Ntyintyane’s bias and clear dislike of Buthelezi are evident. But the moral crisis he describes in the ruling Party is precisely why the indispensable leadership of Buthelezi remains valuable and necessary for our country.
Liezl van der Merwe
Press Officer to Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP