PRINCE MANGOSUTHU BUTHELEZI MP
PRESIDENT OF THE INKATHA FREEDOM PARTY
Thank you for welcoming me so warmly. I always feel at home in Nongoma for I know the long history that ties me to this place, by blood and through service. Because of these ties, it matters a great deal to me that Nongoma is well looked after by the leaders you have chosen. These leaders are ambassadors of the IFP. They carry the IFP mandate to listen with respect, and act with integrity.
I know that the IFP’s leaders in Nongoma are working hard to secure good governance. Your IFP Councillors are working hand in hand with the constituency leadership, to ensure that your voice is heard in the municipal council and your needs are met on the ground.
Under the very capable leadership of our Mayor, Councillor Albert Mncwango, the Nongoma Local Municipality is working hand in hand with the Zululand District Municipality, which is under the good leadership of our Mayor, the Reverend Thulasizwe Buthelezi.
Here in Nongoma, there is a strong partnership between you and the IFP. This partnership has developed over many years. It has grown from strength to strength as the IFP earned your trust and earned your support. That support has been expressed through votes.
In the last local government elections, in 2016, the IFP won every single ward in Nongoma. At every voting station the message came back loud and clear. You asked the IFP to lead. I want to thank you for those votes. Thank you for your support. And thank you for the confidence you have placed in the values and the leadership of the IFP.
We took your support very seriously, knowing that it placed a responsibility on our shoulders. We made a commitment to you to always put you first, and that is what we’ve done. In every ward throughout Nongoma the IFP has created a strong and well-functioning team. Our leaders are supported by an army of activists who share the IFP’s values. Many of you are part of this army.
You have looked at the state of our country and said, “I want to help”. You have become involved and politically active. You are making your contribution. I love working with people like you, because I know that your passion will not be snuffed out by the obstacles we might face. When there is a bump in the road, IFP people don’t cry and look for someone to blame. We figure out what the problem is, and set to work to solve it.
One of these problem-solvers is a young lady who has agreed to stand for election as your representative. Ms Philisiwe Nhleko is an activist in this community. She believes in social justice and economic opportunities. She believes in strong families and empowered youth. She is an ambassador of the IFP’s values.
I am therefore proud to support Ms Nhleko as your ward candidate. She is ready to serve you as your councillor and we, as the leadership of the IFP, are ready to support her as she works to meet your needs. I therefore ask that you support Ms Nhleko.
This coming Wednesday, just three days from now, voting stations will open throughout ward 20 and a by-election will be held to elect a councillor. If you have an ID and are registered to vote, you need to get to a voting station on Wednesday. If you’re not yet old enough to vote, I still encourage you to visit a voting station. Go and see how it works. Talk to the IFP’s voting agents. Find out what you can do, even now, to become activists for the IFP.
Wherever you go on voting day, encourage people to vote for the IFP. Let Nongoma be abuzz with an IFP victory. For although our partnership here is strong, we do have political opponents who would love to take this ward away from the IFP. Already they’ve been out and about, making promises that won’t be kept. I don’t want to see these people deceive you, because you deserve more than empty promises.
You deserve a party that is so committed to integrity that it is willing to sacrifice a leader if they fail the people. The IFP doesn’t turn a blind eye if something goes wrong. We confront it, and we do what is required to put things right. We had to terminate the membership of our councillor here when they brought the Party into disrepute. As much good as they had done in this community, we demand absolute integrity.
That is the standard to which we hold all our leaders. I want you to know that we will hold your new councillor to this same standard, demanding selfless service, honesty and transparent leadership. She has committed to be available and accessible, to listen, to do what she says she will do, and to get back to you with solutions. That is the kind of leader you deserve. It’s the kind of leader you get with the IFP.
As your councillor, Ms Nhleko will take your voice into the municipal council. She will speak on your behalf to say the things that you are saying in your homes and on the streets. She will speak up for youth development, knowing that young people here need opportunities and support to become the entrepreneurs and innovators for change. She will speak up for women, for those who are struggling to raise families, for those who are looking for work. She will speak up for the need to expand basic services, so that water is available to everyone.
Because she will speak for you, I ask you to speak for her on Wednesday. At seven o’clock on Wednesday morning, voting stations will open at the following places – at Nqabayembube High School, at Ngxongwane Primary School, at Manzimakhulu Primary School, at Bukhalini Primary School, at Nkambane Primary School and at Ngethule Primary School.
Make sure you are there.
And keep your eyes open for those who shouldn’t be there. Unfortunately we know that our opponents like to bus people in to vote in wards where they don’t reside. They do this to sway the vote in their favour. If you see people that you don’t know trying to vote in this ward, speak to a voting agent. If you see anyone being bribed or intimidated, if you see anyone damaging posters, or doing anything to manipulate this election, speak to the police. As the sun goes down watch out for our opponents have a habit of bringing in ballots in order to boost their voter support.
You have a right to a free and fair election. You have a right to decide your own future. No one should be able to come in from outside and steal your rights.
Nongoma is a place of hope. It is a place where self-help and self-reliance are able to create change. It is place of community. Let us keep Nongoma strong. Let us keep building together in a partnership of trust.
I thank you.