Statement by the IFP – Official Opposition in the KZN Legislature for the non-participation in the Centenary Debate on the late Honourable Harry Themba Gwala

The IFP KZN Legislature Caucus wants to put on record for the public knowledge that we fully support all recognitions and tributes given to our heroes and heroines for their contributions in the struggle for freedom in our country. This includes the centenary debate on the life of the late Mr Harry Gwala, who will posthumously celebrate 100 years on the 30th of July 2020.

The IFP will not participate in the centenary debate on Mr Harry Gwala as scheduled for today, 23 July 2020 at 11h10.

We could not agree with the ruling party, as the ruling party refused our request that we must first agree on the principle of having a policy position, which clearly states who is eligible for a tribute or recognition debate in the Legislature for his or her contributions in the building of our society. The Legislature of KZN is not a one-party government but currently it has seven political parties.

The IFP has an identity and principles. We cannot function as a rubber stamp for the exclusive political programmes of the ANC, which does not want to open the door for the recognition of the other men and women who played a major role in the building of our society and the foundations upon which we are building as the people of KZN.

Up and until the Ruling Party in KZN Legislature agree on an inclusive recognition policy for all men and women who contributed and still contribute in building our society, the IFP will not participate in the partisan and exclusive centenary celebrations or debates.

We believe that we do not need to wait for the death date, or 100 years to recognise the tremendous work done by great men and women from various walks of life in building our country i.e. in politics, arts, culture, sports, etc.

The IFP remains committed to unity and the inclusive nation building programmes of the legislature of KZN. We will not become part of exclusive partisan programmes that take the cover of the Legislature of the people of KZN. We will participate at all the times in programmes and activities that advance the needs of the people of KwaZulu-Natal as they face poverty, unemployment and inequality.

The IFP remains committed in fighting the scourge of the Covid-19 pandemic. We keep in prayer and support all our frontline soldiers in the fight against the pandemic, as well as the families and individuals affected and infected by Covid-19. We want to appeal to the public that we must change our behaviour and attitude towards funerals, social gatherings and daily activities.

VF Hlabisa, MPL
Leader of the Official Opposition
083 974 5783
23 July 2020