‘Vote for our proven track record of integrity,’ says IFP leader Buthelezi

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DURBAN, March 10 – A vote for the Inkatha Freedom Party in the May 8 elections will be a vote for integrity based on a proven track record, IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi said on Sunday.

“There is not need to reinvent the wheel with catchy slogans. Integrity is still at the heart of the IFP. Trust us,” he told thousands of supporters at the launch of the IFP’s election manifesto in Chatsworth in Durban as heavy rain fell.

The 90-year-old leader, who has promised to step down following the May 8 election, was greeted with vigorous and sustained applause and ululation as he entered the Chatsworth Stadium.

Buthelezi said that despite promises, the “economic salvation” promised by the governing African National Congress had not materialised. Promises and talkshops would not save the economy because “the right value system is missing”.

“Without the right value system, leadership is bound to fail. The IFP places values ahead of politics and people ahead of power,” he said.

The IFP – founded and based in KwaZulu-Natal over 40 years ago – is the fourth biggest political party in the country. It has been working to become a national player although its overall support remains under five percent.

“Our message is simple: We are a voice of reason, the party of the poor, and the party of integrity. Trust us to get the economy working,” said Buthelezi.

The IFP’s policies were based on honesty, social cohesion, rule of law, the Constitution, and economic justice. “These have been at the heart of the IFP for 44 years. They weren’t only my values and principles. They belong to a great team of men and women serving the IFP. I am just one man serving along many excellent leaders who are growing the IFP for you, your children, and grandchildren.”

The party was also one of long-term thinking, because “South Africa needs more than crisis management”. “The system of government is not working in South Africa. If it was working we would not have been saddled for nine years with a failing government or experienced state capture, a stagnant economy, and rising unemployment,” he said.

“We don’t want the same group of people to say ‘just wait, one day it will work’. No, we want them to fix it and apologise.”

He thanked faithful IFP supporters and encouraged them to “stick with the IFP, because our values do not change”. “You have partnered with us to build the future together. Looking back, you know the IFP has an excellent track record. We know how to fix problems.”

The IFP had “vast experience in governance”, both before liberation and after, said Buthelezi.

“We have a track record of getting a lot done with very little. We make sure every cent is accounted for and every cent is stretched.” He encouraged supporters to read the IFP manifesto and address questions to councillors, MPs, or connect with the IFP online. (ANA)