Durban - Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi has accused the ANC and the NFP of using government resources to fund their respective election campaigns.
Buthelezi told supporters in the northern Kwazulu-Natal town of Umkhanyakude: “We have now learnt through the media of the disturbing allegations that Mrs KaMagwaza-Msibi is using the Zululand Municipality funds to finance her election campaign.”
He said it was significant that former police chief Bheki Cele had led a protest against National Freedom Party leader Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi's alleged used of funds from the Zululand District Municipality, of which she is the mayor.
“The irony is that even the African National Congress uses state resources to finance their election campaign,” Buthelezi said.
“So, it is the question of the pot calling the kettle black.”
Buthelezi did not say from which media the allegations had emanated, but said that it was “difficult to imagine how the ANC could have demonstrated against their coalition partner, if these allegations about this lady's abuse of municipal funds were untrue”.
The ANC and NFP are in alliance in a number of rural municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal.
KaMagwaza-Msibi was the IFP's chairwoman until she quit the party to form the NFP three months before the 2011 local government elections.
Buthelezi said it was striking that former stalwarts of the ruling ANC had advised ANC supporters to spoil their ballots.
Last week, former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils and former deputy health minister Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge launched the “Sidikiwe! Vukani! Vote no!” campaign, which calls on South Africans to either vote for a minority party, or spoil their ballots.
Buthelezi said: “These stalwarts of the ruling party have recognised that something has fundamentally changed in the ruling party. Something has gone rotten.”
He said the message from Kasrils was irresponsible and that South Africans should not deny themselves the right to vote after having fought so hard to obtain that right.
“Undoubtedly, we need to fire some people from government. But a spoilt ballot won't do that. More importantly, a spoilt ballot won't put in place the right people for the job. It is just a lost vote.”
The NFP's secretary general Nhlanhla Khubisa accused Buthelezi of clutching at straws.
“You must understand that before they had many municipalities and now they only have three. We have 19. It's a question of sour grapes. They are clutching at straws. They have no direction,” said Khubisa.
He said the NFP had been “reliably informed” that cars from the three municipalities still under the control of the IFP were being used for campaigning purposes.
“We don't want to waste time with them (the IFP). Wasting our time on them will not assist us,” he said.