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RESPONSE TO NIREN TOLSI
Niren Tolsi’s article (Ex-IFP leader draws real support 28/01/2011) should have been more accurately phrased ‘Ex-IFP leader draws imaginary support’. Throughout his article, Tolsi displays an emotional
attachment to Zanele KaMagwaza-Msibi’s project instead of analyzing the reality as it obtains on the ground.
The reality is that this new project, the NFP, has no ideological base or policy platform on which it is founded. It is bizarre therefore for Tolsi to claim that there is a ‘strong Christian sensibility that underpins the nascent NFP’. Tolsi then goes on to weave a tale of deception by claiming that ‘Magwaza-Msibi was the beneficiary of mass defections’ in Nongoma and Ulundi. In Nongoma only 2 councillors (Ngwenya and Mavundla) out of 35 openly identified themselves with the new party. It boggles the mind as to how Tolsi arrived at his revelation that ‘at Nongoma 25 out of the IFP’s 35 sitting councillors announced their intention to move to the NFP’. This is yet another example of emotional attachment clouding the facts.
Even more spurious is Tolsi’s suggestion that in Ulundi ’18 of the 24 consituency chairpersons and 15 councillors followed suit’. Surely these hallucinations by Tolsi deserve nomination to the best comedy awards. There is not a single branch chairperson or councillor in Ulundi that has defected from the IFP. Neither is there a person by the name of Mandla Zondi who is a constituency chairperson in Ulundi. It is a great disservice for readers to be fed a constant diet of sensationalism and fiction by journalists instead of an analysis of the facts as they are.
I concede that on one aspect Tolsi is correct in his analysis – that ‘lately Zanele Magwaza Msibi has been singing’. Magwaza-Msibi will in a few months time learn the difficult political lesson that singing may be a necessary condition to win votes, but it is not a sufficient condition. She will also learn that a political party formed on a whim without any policies or principles will soon dissipate and be relegated to the political periphery. It is tragic that the song drawn from Saint Paul’s epistle to the Galatians and sung by Magwaza-Msibi – ‘umvuni uzovuna akutshalile/azophela amaqhinga’ (for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap) will come back to haunt her. Magwaza-Msibi has sown treachery, deceit and duplicity within the ranks of the IFP and she will reap the bitter taste that comes from losing elections.
To crown his article, Tolsi proclaims that central to Magwaza-Msibi’s campaign are ‘disgruntlted former IFP youth leaders who since 2000 have been unable to put a youthful stamp on the party’. Magwaza-Msibi
herself was a youth leader in 2000 and her contemporaries are Mntomuhle Khawula MPL, Bonginkosi Dhlamini MPL, Zululand Deputy Mayor Sbu Nkwanyana, Nkandla Mayor Zwelabo Zulu and many others. They certainly are not part of Magwaza-Msibi’s doomed campaign. Her campaign is being run by a motley crew of students who having no political experience whatsoever, have now pinned their hopes on Magwaza-Msibi’s project to cut their political teeth. The IFP will survive this latest setback to lead the majority of KZN municipalities because the voters have faith in the IFP’s track record of service delivery and rural development.
Furthermore, the electorate is attracted to the IFP’s policies of political and economic pluralism, devolution of power and federalism which ensure that local communities are given greater scope and autonomy to pursue that which is in their best interest.
THULASIZWE BUTHELEZI, MPL
IFP Deputy National Spokesperson
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