The New Age
Via email: [email protected]
I have taken note of Chris Makhaye’s article titled “IFP at rock bottom with new coalition” (New Age: 31 May 2011) in which Chris Makhaye claims that the IFP was “once touted as the third largest party” and NFP leader Magwaza-Msibi left the IFP because of a “fall-out over her mooted plan to contest the position of party president.”
This is utter nonsense. Mr Makhaye knows very well that Mrs Magwaza-Msibi left the IFP following her failed court bid to stop the IFP from conducting a hearing into her involvement with the “Friends of VZ”. This rogue group gained prominence after it brought the IFP’s name into disrepute; it trampled the Party’s Constitution and caused widespread chaos and disruption with the ranks of the IFP. This had little to do with the position of party president, but everything to do with the mandate this group had been given by the ANC to destabilize the IFP ahead of the all important 2011 local government elections.
Factual inaccuracies have become par for the course as South Africa’s quality of journalism declines, but write-ups on the IFP post the 2011 elections speak to a bigger plot against the Party. The media seems to be on a concerted campaign to write off the IFP.
The facts are simple. Despite the odds that were stacked against us, the IFP remains a formidable force. Far from being “once touted” as the third largest party, we are South Africa’s third largest political party. This is no small feat.
Mr Makhaye believes the IFP has hit rock bottom. This could not be further from the truth. Despite the announcement of an ANC-NFP coalition, the IFP’s Stan Larkan has been elected unopposed as Mayor in Eshowe and the IFP’s Mrs Xulu as Speaker. The ANC was set to control this municipality with the NFP. But clearly many people did not ask for an ANC-NFP coalition in KwaZulu Natal. In Eshowe, democracy and the will of the people have triumphed. The IFP has triumphed. Far from being ready to bow out, the IFP will be back in 2014 with a stronger showing. The IFP will remain to champion principled leadership, for the sake of this country and the future.
MS LIEZL VAN DER MERWE
PRESS LIAISON OFFICER TO PRINCE MANGOSUTHU BUTHELEZI