Durban - The IFP brought Ulundi to a standstill on Sunday in the party’s final attempt to secure votes for Wednesday’s election.
Leaders of other political parties misunderstood their roles and were now into pocket politics, “where positions simply mean money and tenders and swag”, IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi said at the party’s rally.
The Ulundi Sports Ground was packed with more than 30 000 supporters who came to listen to their leader deliver a two-hour address.
The city centre, and roads leading to the stadium, were buzzing, littered with taxis and buses ferrying fervent supporters whistling and ululating to party-themed maskandi and kwaito music by local artists.
“Today, many in the ruling party are just dodging corruption charges and lining their own pockets. This is no longer the party of Inkosi Albert Luthuli and Mr Walter Sisulu. It is not the party of Nelson Mandela. It has changed,” said Buthelezi.
ANC leaders may still be at the helm, he said, “but they are not leaders”.
He urged the crowd to vote the IFP back into government.
“Over almost 40 years, South Africans have seen what the IFP can do. You know us. You trust us. And we are here to serve,” he said.
He said it was the public’s “responsibility” to judge representatives and to fire those who were dishonest.
Buthelezi said the IFP was at the forefront of the liberation struggle.
“The IFP offers something unique: a proven track record of clean governance and strong opposition.
“We are a constructive opposition that does more than just complain and point out the myriad problems in our country. We offer solutions.
“Leaders don’t allow the police to fire on striking mineworkers. Leaders don’t promise half a million jobs, then lose a million instead. They don’t give tenders to their cousins. They don’t build RDP houses that fall down within a year.”
He said real leaders earned trust and kept on serving the people after the elections.
“Our vote is our most valuable tool with which to forge change. Consider what happens between elections, when the ruling party is not forced to listen to your voice.”
The IFP did not fight dirty, he said, “we fight smart and we fight hard”.