IFP Leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi at the press conference at Port Edward Hotel.Picture Zanele Zulu,19/12/2012

KwaZulu-Natal - IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi has endorsed a call for the formation of a coalition of opposition parties, which is expected to be ready for action before the 2014 general election.

Buthelezi, who supported a vote of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma in Parliament last month, told the media in Durban on Wednesday that opposition parties in the National Assembly had taken a decision to work together to strengthen democracy. Only the African People’s Convention president, Themba Godi, had turned down the idea.

Buthelezi spoke to the media immediately after Cope president Mosiuoa Lekota had briefed him about the outcome of the opposition meeting in Joburg on Friday where they agreed to form the coalition. Buthelezi did not attend the meeting as he was at his party’s conference in Ulundi.

“I fully support the decision that has been taken. This coalition will have a permanent office and a law book, which will make all political parties equal,” said Buthelezi.

He said the next meeting, at which parties would have further discussion, would be next month.

The parties would use the coalition to fight against the “secrecy bill” and corruption.

Buthelezi said although he was initially reluctant to support the DA when it first proposed the idea of a vote of no confidence against Zuma, he later realised that he had many reasons to agree.

“I wrote a letter to Zuma explaining to him that I had taken the decision to support the vote of no confidence in him,” he said.

However, he said, it would have been stupid to say the ANC had not done anything for the people of South Africa.

“But Zuma has disappointed me. When Malema invaded my home he did not say anything. But when there was a visit to Zuma’s house all hell broke loose.

“When Malema called me an ANC factory fault, he (Zuma) did not say anything,” Buthelezi said.

He also lambasted Zuma for failing to take a clear position against nationalisation.

“Instead, he said there was space for debate on nationalisation. What debate? It ruined Russia, Germany and Tanzania, yet he wants to open a debate on it,” he said.

Zuma had ignored his warning against deploying ANC cadres to head the police force, he added.

“I told him that after the Mr (Jackie) Selebi fiasco and Mr (Bheki) Cele was fired, there should be no further comrade deployment. But he again appointed the current commissioner, Riah Phiyega, then we had the Marikana shooting incident,” he said.

He was sad that Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe had been voted out of the ANC leadership.

“Although I don’t want to be involved in the affairs of other political parties, Motlanthe is a man of integrity. No one can beat him when it comes to credentials. I’m sorry that the ANC has lost someone of his calibre,” he said. - The Mercury