Buthelezi: Oust the party responsible for Marikana and Nkandla

IFP president Mangosuthu Buthelezi. (Reuters)

IFP president Mangosuthu Buthelezi. (Reuters)

Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) president Mangosuthu Buthelezi told supporters at an Umlazi rally on Monday at V Section Hall that while voting was usually thought of as a collective process, it was time for voters to flex their individual muscles by voting for a party that had never been tainted by corruption.

Buthelezi said this before photocopied newspaper clippings of National Freedom Party (NFP) president Zanele Magwaza-Msibi were handed out to a crowd of about 400 supporters – many of them youth bussed in from various parts of Umlazi township. 

Buthelezi, who spoke in a lethargic, barely audible tone, said members should turn May 7 into a festive affair by voting with family, fellow churchgoers and even their drinking mates. Buthelezi read briefly from a pre-written speech before spending most his roughly 40-minute long address veering off the script. 

He urged his supporters to oust the party that was responsible for Marikana, Nkandla and rampant corruption. “Undoubtedly, we need to fire some people in government but a spoilt vote won’t do that,” Buthelezi said, turning his attention to former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils and former deputy health minister Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge’s “Vote No!” campaign

The April 23 newspaper clipping Buthelezi distributed to the crowd detailed Magwaza-Msibi’s alleged relationship with several companies that receive tenders from her municipality. 

A number of youths in attendance said they were from informal sections of the township such as P Section and M Section, and Buthelezi represented their  long-standing desire for proper housing.

No ANC assistance
Menzi Mhlongo, a young man in his early twenties said as far as he knew, the people in P Section were self-reliant as they had built their own shacks years ago without the assistance of the ANC, which their grandparents had voted for for years. 

He said IFP people recently came with wood, doorframes and other such building material in the area, and promised to help them put up new houses. Sizwe Simelane, national general secretary of the South African Democratic Students Movement (Sadesmo) said his vote would remain with the IFP because of the party’s constitution and because Buthelezi had never been tainted with corruption charges. 

“It’s an example we can learn from him.” 

He added that even though the party split with the formation of the NFP, it would still have a good showing at the polls as “those sowing division had gone”. 

Nomthandazo Kubheka and Celazuze Zulu respectively said it was the way Sadesmo had handled student issues at Mangosuthu University of Technology and the role Buthelezi played in the release of Nelson Mandela that drew them to the IFP. 

Zulu added that Buthelezi had gone out of his way to make sure young people like her were educated,as he had preached “education before liberation”.

Kwanele Sosibo

Kwanele Sosibo

Kwanele Sosibo studied journalism at Durban's ML Sultan Technikon before working at Independent Newspapers from 2000 to 2003. In 2005, he joined the Mail & Guardian's internship programme and later worked as a reporter at the paper between 2006 and 2008, before working as a researcher. He was the inaugural Eugene Saldanha Fellow in 2011. Read more from Kwanele Sosibo

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