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Johannesburg - National Freedom Party leader Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi has vowed to replace the DA’s Helen Zille as the leader of the opposition.
The NFP leader also accused the ANC of being criminals and thieves surviving on looted public funds.
KaMagwaza-Msibi made the remarks on Sunday while kickstarting her national elections campaign in Gauteng at George Goch Stadium – the heartland of the rival IFP.
She introduced her first batch of 5 280 volunteers out of a targeted 13 200 volunteers for Gauteng to the public. KaMagwaza-Msibi will be contesting national elections next year as a party political leader for the first time.
She and her lieutenants in Gauteng have vowed to change sitting arrangements in the Gauteng legislature.
“I was rated number 114… among parties in the country. My support base continued to grow and now I am (in) the fourth spot. I am now gunning for the second spot,” said KaMagwaza-Msibi.
NFP Gauteng chairman Bheki Gumbi said his party was determined to secure a significant number of seats in the legislature.
He said the NFP was aiming to collect more than 1.8 million voters in next year’s poll – compared to their 1.2 million in the 2011 national local government elections.
Gumbi said they hoped to sign up more than 350 000 voters in Gauteng to meet the national voter target.
While their rival IFP has lost significantly and is now reduced to one person in the Gauteng legislature, Gumbi has set himself the goal of securing between five and eight seats in his first try in the legislature.
He hopes for a minimum of 420 000 voters in Gauteng.
KaMagwaza-Msibi accused the ANC of using people as election pawns, saying the voters continued to live in poverty after every election.
“We are tired of being ruled by criminals; thieves who are looting your money and do nothing for you.
“They only look after themselves, their families and immediate relatives.
“The poor continue to remain poor even 20 years since the ANC came to power,” she said.
KaMagwaza-Msibi – who has been mayor of the Zululand District Council – said that if she was voted into power, she would continue to serve the people, particularly the poor.
“My first priority will be to improve our standard of education. Our education does not provide skills. Most of the pupils who pass matric can’t read or write.
“I am also going to ensure that computer literacy must begin in Grade 1. All the pupils must have computer literacy when they complete matric so as to become employable.”
Her supporters ululated and clapped hands when she said the government under NFP rule would be obliged in law to pay for the driving lessons of pupils.
“I am doing it in my municipality of Zululand. I take 50 pupils from all the 275 high schools in the district and I pay for them to get their driving licences. This will happen in Gauteng and other parts of the country if the NFP takes control,” KaMagwaza-Msibi promised.
She challenged other political parties to contribute to a Marikana fund to help the families of the 44 people killed last August.
The NFP donated R50 000 in a ceremony to mark the first anniversary of the massacre.