Outgoing IFP leader Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi called on his party to return to grassroots activism. Picture: Sibusiso Ndlovu/African News Agency (ANA)

Durban - Outgoing IFP leader Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi on Saturday called on his party to return to grassroot activism.

Addressing delegates at the party’s elective conference in Ulundi, Buthelezi said stories of the IFP legacy must be told.

“This is why I have called on our Youth Brigade and our Women’s Brigade to reignite political education, ensuring that at branch level we convey to our members the real story of the IFP. It is this that grows cohesion and commitment. 

“In the early years of Inkatha, long before WhatsApp groups and Facebook, people used to gather in branch meetings and talk about the issues of the day. At grassroots level, people made the time and created the space to listen and participate.”

Buthelezi said there was tremendous value in posting a Tweet about the country, and in following a newsfeed. 

“But there is still something unique in people physically engaging with one another, in a face to face conversation. It is there that ideas are sparked, consensus is reached, and collaborations develop.

“I have therefore emphasised the value of going back to grassroots activism; getting people into one venue and sharing information. We are blessed to have the benefit of technology to arrange these things and to convey messages quickly and widely.”

Buthelezi called on supporters to not substitute a Facebook post for an afternoon of collaborative debate. 

“We must use technology to further our cause, not allow it to dictate the strength or length of our message.

“Would it have been the same if we sent out an sms asking you to vote online for your next leaders? Of course not! It is important to come together, to have your say, to listen to one another, to consider ideas and test arguments. This is what democracy is all about.”

Political Bureau