Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi Mp
President Of The Inkatha Freedom Party
This morning leaders of opposition parties met in Johannesburg to discuss the leadership crisis our country faces, and our responsibility as representatives of South Africa’s people to stand in the gap. The IFP participated in deliberations in the interests of peace and change. We believe that the President has failed South Africa and we recognise that action must be taken to avert disaster.
We support the requests of the DA and EFF to the Speaker of the National Assembly to urgently reconvene Parliament to debate a Motion of No Confidence. We have said before, and it is common knowledge, that this is a futile exercise until leaders within the ANC find the courage to vote with their conscience.
The President’s midnight decision to recall, appoint and remove twenty Ministers and Deputy Ministers may be the catalyst of change that is needed to see ANC MPs speak for South Africa. We must allow this to run its course. Whether or not another Vote of No Confidence is likely to succeed, it must be attempted, for we must exhaust every avenue to protect our country.
As we do this, however, we must be careful. The aim is to protect South Africa, not to win a political point. I am deeply concerned by the emotive language that emerged in this morning’s meeting of opposition parties. Things are gaining momentum and are fast reaching boiling point. We must guard against violence.
The IFP has discouraged the DA from marching on Luthuli House, for this will be seen as a provocative act and the ANC will react accordingly. Believing itself to be under siege, the ANC will close ranks, and any ANC leader who may have begun listening to their conscience will listen to the louder voice of imminent threat.
We need to preserve the space for ANC leaders to consider the interests of South Africa. We would hope that a Motion of No Confidence will be birthed from within the majority party.
The greater danger in marching to Luthuli House is the likelihood of violence. Our country can ill afford the sparking of violence, bloodshed and loss of life. Let us remember that former President Mandela himself gave an order for security to shoot when the King’s supporters were moving past Shell House. Lives were lost and a wound remains.
South Africa stands again at a combustible crossroads. What we choose to do now, and how we choose to do it, will have deep repercussions.
The IFP supports mass action. We support the call to march on the Union Buildings. But we believe that mass action should be the last resort. We have not yet seen the outcome of the request to the Speaker. We have not yet gone through the process of a renewed Vote of No Confidence. We have not even heard the outcome of the EFF’s approach to the Constitutional Court.
We must allow these things to play out, before we set a match to the fire of mass action. It is a fire that will easily rage out of control and it may well claim lives. The IFP calls on South Africa to tread carefully. We call for calm and for a rational approach to prevail. Let us do everything in our power to seek a solution that avoids violence. Once every avenue is exhausted, if we must resort to mass action, let it at least be said that we did what we could to avert disaster.
Mkhuleko Hlengwa, MP
071 111 0539