Don’t provoke the ANC‚ warns Buthelezi
Nathi Olifant | 2017-04-04 09:18:01.0
IFP president Mangosuthu Buthelezi. File photo.
Image by: ESA ALEXANDER
IFP president Mangosuthu Buthelezi is concerned that ill-considered action by opposition parties may provoke the ANC and lead to bloodshed.
He spoke in the wake of concerted efforts to oust President Jacob Zuma following his controversial cabinet reshuffle last week.
Buthelezi called on fellow opposition parties to guard against provoking the ANC after noting the “emotive language” used during Monday morning’s meeting of opposition parties in Johannesburg. His party participated in the briefing.
Speaking on Monday afternoon‚ Buthelezi said the IFP participated in deliberations in the interests of peace and change.
“We believe that the president has failed South Africa and we recognise that action must be taken to avert disaster‚” he said.
He added that the party supported the DA and the EFF’s requests for Speaker Baleka Mbete to urgently reconvene parliament to debate a motion of no confidence in Zuma. But he was not sure that the motion would be successful.
“We have said before‚ and it is common knowledge‚ that this is a futile exercise until leaders within the ANC find the courage to vote with their conscience‚” he said.
Buthelezi said Zuma’s midnight decision to recall‚ appoint and remove 20 ministers and deputy ministers could be the catalyst for change that is needed to see ANC MPs speak for South Africa.
“We must allow this to run its course. Whether or not another vote of no confidence is likely to succeed‚ it must be attempted‚ for we must exhaust every avenue to protect our country.
“As we do this‚ however‚ we must be careful. The aim is to protect South Africa‚ not to win a political point. I am deeply concerned by the emotive language that emerged in this morning’s [Tuesday] meeting of opposition parties. Things are gaining momentum and are fast reaching boiling point. We must guard against violence‚” warned Buthelezi.
He said the IFP has discouraged the DA from marching on the ANC headquarters‚ Luthuli House‚ which would be seen as a provocative act and the ANC will react accordingly.
He also warned that‚ believing itself to be under siege‚ the ANC would close ranks‚ and any ANC leaders who may have begun listening to their conscience would listen to the louder voice of imminent threat.
“We need to preserve the space for ANC leaders to consider the interests of South Africa. We would hope that a motion of no confidence will be birthed from within the majority party‚” he said.
Buthelezi said the greater danger in marching to Luthuli House was the likelihood of violence.
“South Africa stands again at a combustible crossroads. What we choose to do now‚ and how we choose to do it‚ will have deep repercussions‚” he said.