Zuma leadership synonymous with corruption, says Buthelezi

African News Agency (ANA)

Zuma leadership synonymous with corruption, says Buthelezi
Mangosuthu Buthelezi. Photo: quotesgram.com

South Africa’s leadership under President Jacob Zuma has become synonymous with corruption, Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi said on Sunday.

Addressing an estimated 10,000 IFP supporters during the launch of the party’s August 3 municipal elections manifesto at the King Zwelithini Stadium in Durban’s Umlazi township, he said the country’s current volatile political situation had left South Africans questioning whom they could trust.

At the highest levels of government the trust between the people and the leadership had been broken.

“For the first time since apartheid an unbreachable chasm has opened between the citizens and leaders in government.”

South Africa was experiencing corruption at all levels of the African National Congress-led administration.

“Even our president has not been without any blemish. This has led to an outcry throughout the country. One cannot help remembering the saying that when a fish rots the rot starts at the head. Under the leadership of this president corruption has become synonymous with government.”

Buthelezi pointed out that corrupt leaders in South Africa were never punished but recycled instead.

He made specific reference to the appointment earlier this week of KwaZulu-Natal arts, culture, sport and recreation MEC Bongi Sithole-Moloi, who was axed in 2008 over allegations that she had channelled R1.5 million into the account of Lucky Moloi, whom she later married.

“Scandal after scandal after scandal blazes across our newspapers,” he said, referring to an article published in the Sunday Tribune newspaper on Sithole-Moloi’s appointment.

“That is not the way it should be. But the poison has seeped down into all levels, opening the door to corrupt, self-serving, greedy officials. Cronyism, nepotism, cadre deployment, tenderpreneurs. These are words that should never have entered our daily vocabulary. But we all know them. Because they happen all the time. It’s what we’re familiar with under the present government.”

The 87-year-old Buthelezi said he was proud of what the IFP stood for and that despite pundits predicting the party’s demise it was still around.

“The political landscape has changed and more change is certain. But the IFP is still here.”

He highlighted the dissatisfaction that people felt under ANC-led municipalities, saying “we are familiar with the violent protests that occur in ANC municipalities all over the country”. Those municipalities failed to deliver the services that people wanted and money destined for infrastructure was not being spent.

“No wonder service delivery protests are igniting in every municipalitty administered by the ANC. Things are no better in those municipalities that were forced into an ANC/NFP administration. It was purely a political move decided at the top and the people paid the price.”

In the five municipalities governed by the IFP, including Zuma’s hometown of Nkandla, there were no service delivery protests. The IFP also had its “rotten apples” but had made every attempt to “weed them out”. Voters needed to send a powerful message to the ANC on election day on August 3 about those that are failing them.

Buthelezi said voters should never forget that food parcels and blankets handed out ahead of elections were not a gift from the ANC-led government.

“The gifts they gave were owed to you and you paid for them yourselves. Those blankets, that mieliemeal, those pots… they should have come with no strings attached.”

Referring to a recent order by SABC chief operations officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng not to broadcast footage of service delivery protests, Buthelezi said: “They are determined not to give any bad publicity to the ANC in the run-up to the elections. So the protests get louder and the clampdown gets stronger. Where will this end? It can have no good outcome.”

Earlier, IFP chief whip Liezl van der Merwe announced that mayors of Inkatha Freedom Party-controlled municipalities would distribute free sanitary pads to schoolgirls.

“The IFP will take the lead. We will direct all IFP mayors to distribute free sanitary pads to schoolgirls,” she told the packed stadium.

Schoolgirls were missing as much as a week every month because they could not afford sanitary pads, and while government went as far as providing “flavoured condoms”, no such efforts were being made to help teenage schoolgirls, Van der Merwe said.

The intermittent ‎rain failed to dampen the spirits of the crowd and Buthelezi received a rousing welcome when he arrived. There was a vibrant atmosphere ahead of his arrival as various performers and speakers were cheered. ‎Many supporters wore traditional regalia while others wore T-shirts emblazoned with Buthelezi’s portrait.

Several hundred municipal elections candidates afterwards took an oath and signed a pledge to serve their constituents.

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SOURCEAfrican News Agency (ANA)