Durban - Almost a week before the country heads to the polls to elect their local governments, various parties spent the entire week canvassing for votes, with the ANC sending its big guns across KwaZulu-Natal.
The ruling party’s second in command, David Mabuza, started his campaign in Newcastle on Saturday and rounded it up in Ladysmith where the IFP (Inkatha Freedom Party) is showing signs of coming back to life.
KwaZulu-Natal provincial chairperson, Sihle Zikalala, was sent to the troubled Umzimkhulu in the south of the province to address a Siyanqoba rally.
The IFP’s founder and President Emeritus, Inkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi, went to bolster the campaign in Durban where the party is hoping to increase its tally of councillors in the eThekwini municipality, the only metro in KwaZulu-Natal.
Addressing a rally in Ladysmith, Mabuza did not mince his words, lamenting the divisions within the ruling party and saying they have led to internal strife and political killings.
Furthermore, he lamented that the ANC has been infiltrated by criminals and said members should root them out.
“Our internal challenges within the ANC would be resolved as we have the will to resolve them. But I have one plea to the ANC, let us stop fighting one another within the ANC, we need unity within the ANC.
“Let us stop killing one another within the ANC, down with killers down, down with killers ... down. We are saying we don’t want criminals within the ANC, we don’t want people who kill other people within our movement.
“We have seen some of them killing people in Tshwane (Pretoria), we have seen others killing people in eThekwini (Durban), criminals are now all the ANC.
“We are now saying this must come to an end. I hope that after the elections we will work for unity within the ANC,” Mabuza told the rally in Ladysmith in the north of the province.
Reading the riot act to councillor candidates in the Alfred Duma local municipality (Ladysmith), Mabuza said they have learnt from their past mistakes in power and now room for more mistakes is over and only deliverance is expected from them.
“I hope that you have learnt from your previous mistakes and you will now do better. We now want to deliver with pace,” he said.
Speaking in Durban, Buthelezi said what South Africa needs, above anything else, is a leadership of integrity to intervene and take the reins, and that can only be done on the strength of votes.
He said the IFP, with its track record in delivering clean governance, is the party voters should back at the polls if they want to see corruption rooted out.
“It is thus crucial that you vote, and that you elect councillors who subscribe to the values that you yourself believe in.
“Unfortunately, not every party is fielding candidates who will honour your trust and earn your support. Not every party is in politics to serve, and their value systems have long been compromised by allowing unethical behaviour to go unchecked.
“Integrity is the strongest asset of the IFP. In our 46-year legacy of service to South Africa, we have been untainted by corruption. We have always acted swiftly to remove any wrongdoing and to restore justice.
“Our absolute inflexibility on the issue of integrity has made the IFP completely trustworthy. We have built a relationship of trust with the people we serve. It is something I am profoundly proud of,” Buthelezi said.
In Cape Town, Good leader, Patricia de Lille led her party’s final push together with the mayoral candidate for Cape Town, Brett Herron, visiting townships like Khayelitsha to woo voters by promising them change if they snatch the municipality from the DA.
"Our key message to the voters today was that please lend us your vote just for five years because we have a plan. If we do not keep to our plan, after five years you can vote us out again.
“Voters must not give their votes away, they must use them to bring about change in their lives," De Lille said after their campaign yesterday (Sunday).