IFP founder Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi tears into the ANC, DA and Julius Malema

The founder of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and its president emeritus, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi on Thursday heavily criticized the African National Congress (ANC), the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters Julius Malema for some of their campaign messages ahead of the local government elections on 1 November 2021.

Speaking at an IFP elections campaign “closing rally” at Ulundi, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), on Thursday, Buthelezi started off by saying that while the ANC had urged young South Africans to abandon education and burn schools during the June 16, 1976 Soweto Youth Uprising, the IFP at the time was building classrooms and furthering the education of young people in the kwaZulu homeland of the time.

Buthelezi added that through several interventions by the then IFP’s homeland government, his party was able to build evidence that apartheid could be done away with and a non racial and non-discriminatory society could be achieved.

“The IFP’s legacy of pursuing social cohesion and social justice [goes way beyond] democracy,” Buthelezi said, adding that “complete freedom” is unattainable in South Africa if poverty and the lack of opportunities and “hope” continue to permeate the country’s communities.

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Buthelezi said the IFP’s message has only been that of unity and not divisions, in particular, those that run along racial lines unlike the messaging of the DA which sought to drive a wedge between different race groups with its controversial poster at Phoenix, Durban.

Though the DA eventually removed the posters and apologized for them, the party’s leader, John Steenhuisen has stuck to his guns that the party was not at fault for the message on the posters, which stated that the ANC had called Phoenix residents “racist” following the deaths of mostly black people at the largely Indian populated location during the July unrest, when to the DA they were “heroes” who stood up in defence of their community.

Buthelezi said he found fault with the DA’s posters because the country’s future cannot be based on “fear and divisions”.

The IFP founder then moved to the ANC, saying its President Cyril Ramaphosa had made an “empty promise” in the video clip that has been widely circulated  on social media showing Ramaphosa back in 2019 saying that 1 million houses will be built in the Gauteng, Johannesburg township of Alexandra.

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The ANC has since issued a statement clarifying that during the 2019 general election campaign trail, Ramaphosa had made a commitment that 1 million houses would be built across the country.

Buthelezi further said that since 1994, the governing party has a track record of numerous broken promises, which include creating 1 million jobs, building houses, eradicating pit latrines and to bring an end to load shedding as well as to get rid of corrupt individuals within its fold.

“These promises have proven to be empty, they have not been fulfilled,” Buthelezi said, adding that nepotism, rather, has been rife while service delivery was poor.

Another issue the IFP founder said is a concern is the spate of political killings, in particular, in KZN.

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Buthelezi said the Moerane Commission report into political killings in KZN, which was released three years ago, revealed that these murders were largely due to intra-party violence over positions,  securing an income and tenders and that the report shone a spotlight on the ANC’s internal political war.

Buthelezi added that it was uncalled for that a number of councillor candidates have been killed in KZN in the past month and some have gone into hiding.

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The ANC, Buthelezi said, is being haunted by the spectre of corruption, as he called for voters to ensure that the governing party does not win KZN at the polls again because if it does, it will destroy the province.

Buthelezi condemned Malema for urging South African women to have 10 children or as many as they wanted because the government would provide for them through social grants.

“This is grossly irresponsible,” Buthelezi said, explaining that it would not be sustainable.

The IFP founder urged the party’s supporters to ensure that it takes back KZN, a province where it is the official opposition to the ANC.

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