The African National Congress is deliberately polarising the political debate for the sake of beating back any threat to their unfettered power, Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi said on Sunday.
Addressing the IFP’s closing rally in Ulundi ahead of the August 3 municipal elections, he criticised the ANC for painting the Democratic Alliance as a racist party of former oppressors who care nothing for the needs of black South Africans.
“But in pushing this narrative, the ANC pushed too far, and exposed racism in its own ranks. The ANC’s president [Jacob Zuma] called on blacks to vote for a ‘black party’. Whatever happened to the multi-cultural, non-racial message of the liberation movement? The ANC is deliberately polarising the political debate, driving wedges between different race groups for the sake of beating back any threat to their unfettered power,” Buthelezi said.
“If the ANC sees itself as a ‘black party’, is there any place for Indians, coloureds, and whites in a country dominated by the ANC? There have long been questions about the ANC’s understanding of democracy. When President Zuma stood up in Parliament and said that democracy means the majority have more rights, the fight for equality was crippled. Our country’s Constitution was built on the values of democracy, equality, and non-racialism. Yet the ANC has flouted every one of these values in the hope it will win them votes.
“Again their campaign has been based on promises. In a glossy manifesto, replete with stock photos and meaningless statistics, the ANC has claimed that it will create jobs, meet needs, and accelerate development, despite having failed on all these counts for year upon year of their governance. We still remember their empty promises in 1994, that everyone would get jobs and houses. But how many people still live in abject poverty? How many jobs have been lost in a failing economy? How many still wait for their needs to be met, 22 years later? Unfortunately, this habit of making promises has infected the DA,” he said.
“Your future cannot be placed on hold. The time to deliver is now. The time is ripe to restore an IFP leadership so that things can be put right. We are not asking for your vote based on promises. The facts speak for themselves. In 2011, Ulundi remained under an IFP administration. And Ulundi has had clean audit reports every year since then. In fact, we were getting clean audit reports well before 2011. We simply kept doing what we do best – delivering clean, good governance.
“The IFP works for you. This is why our election campaign has focussed on issues, like water, job creation, skills development, houses, electricity, security, education, and healthcare. We haven’t pulled other parties down to make ourselves look good by comparison. Indeed, we haven’t engaged in any mud-slinging. We’ve simply told it like it is, so that you will be equipped with all the information to make a good decision on August 3rd,” Buthelezi said.
– African News Agency (ANA)