gearing up for 2009

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

The Inkatha Freedom Party has positioned itself as an alternative ruling party in South Africa because it believes democracy is under threat.

This emerged yesterday during the official launch of the party's draft-policy programme in Durban.

The IFP's positioning is in anticipation of the forthcoming general elections next year.

The party's national secretary, Musa Zondi, said democracy was under threat because the ANC was turning the country into a one-party state, which had to be stopped.

"The IFP is needed to protect our young and ailing democracy. It is needed to guard against a one-party state," Zondi said.

He said his party believed in a just, prosperous, caring society, where human rights and values were respected.

"We know some trees would grow taller than others, but we believe that even those shorter trees need rain to grow, and that's what the IFP would offer the people of this country.

"We will not stand by while our people are suffering, but we will walk with them," Zondi said.

IFP national chairman Zanele Magwaza-Msibi told a packed Durban City Hall that the party was the only alternative for the citizens of this country, regardless of their colour, beliefs or creed.

She said the IFP was re-launching itself to gear up for the 2009 general elections, which she felt would be hotly contested.

"The only reason the party agreed to the call from its members to re-position itself, was because of the enormous challenges faced by ordinary people of this country whose lives have been worsened by the ruling party's false promises and pretences.

"By our being here today, we give evidence to the challenges that each and everyone of us is faced with," said Magwaza-Msibi.

She said that while the ANC squabbled among itself, people's needs had been left unattended.

"The IFP will provide answers to all the questions being asked."

Magwasza-Msibi said though South Africa had made progress in the past 14 years, it had failed to live up to people's expectations.

"South Africa needs fresh direction under the leadership of the IFP. As a party, we choose hope and progress," she said.

The creation of jobs, economic growth, crime and poverty alleviation are some of the issues the IFP has proposed in its draft-policy programme.