You still need the IFP, Buthelezi tells SA

The Inkatha Freedom Party—as the third-largest party in South Africa—must take on an opposition role, party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi told supporters at a rally in Nquthu, KwaZulu-Natal, on Sunday.

Local government elections earlier this year left the province with 19 hung municipalities, said Buthelezi, blaming the new National Freedom Party for bringing “an element of uncertainty” to the polls.

He said the outcome showed that the electorate still needed and trusted the IFP, and had clearly not asked for an African National Congress takeover.

Instead, the NFP and ANC had formed a coalition allowing the ANC to take over several municipalities—a result Buthelezi condemned.

“At this juncture, the needs of South Africa demand that the IFP take up the challenge of opposition politics,” he said.

“... a powerful voice of opposition is needed; a voice that speaks with integrity and fearlessness, with honesty and insight. That is the voice of the IFP.”

Over a million votes across South Africa had been cast for the IFP in the local government elections.

Moral leadership
The outcome had clarified the mandate of the IFP, which should focus on providing moral leadership and a voice of reason, Buthelezi said.

“We are the voice calling for integrity among our country’s leaders, stricter financial controls in our municipalities, and the opening of opportunity for all South Africans to become self-reliant.”

South Africa was sitting on a powder keg of social and political upheaval, he warned.

“Where once the ANC seemed to be a rock that could not be moved, it is now showing cracks and fissures that could shatter the ruling party,” he said. These include divergent views on nationalisation and land expropriation, which were damaging the country’s economic prospects.

Buthelezi said he had taken a firm stand against nationalisation.

“There is no reason to believe that government could do a better job at running the mining industry than private organisations,” he said. “In fact, every industry run by government has suffered losses and continues to operate at a loss, including Denel and South African Airways.

“There is no reason to believe that nationalising mines will bring any benefit to ordinary South Africans.” - Sapa

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