Imbali Unit 3 resident Ricardo Ngubo takes a selfie with IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi, who was on the campaign trail at Edendale Mall. ~ Ian Carbutt , The Witness
Pietermaritzburg - IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi says he is concerned about political killings that continue to mar the run-up to the local government elections.
The tally for politically motivated killings in KZN since the beginning of the year has escalated to 14, the latest being IFP supporters Siyanda Mnguni and Thokozani Majola, who were shot and killed in Estcourt at the weekend.
Speaking to The Witness while on a walkabout at Edendale Mall on Tuesday, Buthelezi described the situation as a “burning and worrying issue”.
“It shows that we are very far from free and fair elections,” he said.
Buthelezi bemoaned the destruction of public property, which he said had become a common feature of protests concerning service delivery or the ANC’s candidate nomination process.
“I am very worried about violent protests by ANC supporters. Protests have happened only in ANC-led municipalities. We are seeing the burning of schools and destruction of public property, which I was against even back when they said ‘let us make this country ungovernable’.”
Buthelezi said he did not understand why the NFP Youth Movement continued accusing him of bribing suspended NFP treasurer Xolani Ndlovu to not pay the IEC’s registration fee on time.
“Mr Ndlovu has owned up to the media wherever he is hiding, and said it is not true that he was bribed. It is absolute nonsense.”
On Sunday, NFP Youth Movement secretary-general Busisiwe Tshabalala repeated the movement’s stance that senior party leaders had been bribed by the IFP not to pay the IEC registration fee on time, which excludes the party from participating in the elections.
“We cannot rejoice about the NFP. We need competition. Democracy is about competition,” said Buthelezi, adding that he had been dumbfounded by the DA’s call for small opposition parties to merge into a strong opposition that would challenge the ANC.
“Helen Suzman started as a lone voice in Parliament and she succeeded. But now the DA want to make it a two-horse race. If you look at older democracies in Europe, governments are formed by coalitions,” he said.
Buthelezi said voters would have to choose between corrupt and clean government.
“There has been a lot of corruption here in KZN and in Msunduzi. When we governed here, there was no corruption.
“It is up to them [voters] whether they want to keep the corrupt government in place or they want a corruption-free administration.
“We are not promising the people El Dorado; that this land will flow in milk and honey. What I am saying is that our track record speaks for itself,” he said.
Buthelezi said his party would continue prioritising education by building more schools and teachers’ colleges.
“We will promote self-reliance. The government must help people to help themselves. We are not a nation of handouts. It is very important that we become a developmental state rather than a welfare state.”
With the prevalence of HIV infection in the province, Buthelezi said it was important that nutrition be prioritised.
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