IFP's Buthelezi complains to Ramaphosa about KZN premier
IFP parliamentary leader Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi has taken his battle with KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala to parliament, telling President Cyril Ramaphosa about an incident in which Zikalala allegedly mocked him.
Buthelezi, who participated in the presidency budget vote on Thursday, began his speech by sarcastically asking Ramaphosa whether he could hear him speak and understand what he was saying.
“Am I speaking clearly enough, Your Excellency? Or is my ‘speech impediment’ causing difficulties?
“I ask, because your premier in KwaZulu-Natal (Sihle Zikalala) has publicly ridiculed me, telling the Children’s Parliament that the traditional prime minister to the Zulu monarch and nation is incomprehensible, because he stammers.
“He even did a lively impersonation, encouraging the children of the Zulu kingdom to mock the king’s prime minister,” complained Buthelezi.
He was also shocked because Zikalala had allegedly did this in the presence of his eldest daughter, said Buthelezi.
“What kind of a leader is that? A leader who gets into drunken brawls in public, embarrassing his party, his office and our country?” he asked.
Buthelezi said it pained him that the ANC was discredited by leaders of Zikalala’s ilk.
He charged that the credibility of the ANC, and of government, was continually being compromised as leaders are implicated in scandals, corruption, abuses of power, and behaviour that tears apart the moral fabric of SA.
“When leaders show no respect and act like hooligans, how can we be surprised when anarchy erupts?”
Buthelezi and the KZN ANC, led by Zikalala, have been at loggerheads for some time including over Buthelezi’s role in the Zulu monarchy with the ANC accusing the IFP of using the monarch for political gains.
Zikalala's spokesperson Lennox Mabaso could not be reached for comment at the time of publishing.
Meanwhile, in an unprecedented move, the IFP did not support Ramaphosa’s budget vote, the first time the party has not supported a presidency budget since 1994.
“Today, the IFP is called upon to debate the budget of the presidency; a budget that yet again has undergone no scrutiny by parliament, no oversight process and no interrogation by the people who are charged with protecting our country from abuses of power and abuse of state funds,” he said.
Buthelezi said the IFP has always supported the presidency budget for the sake of enabling the presidency to perform its work, despite none of its questions being answered. He said the party did this on the assumption that the president’s office would not act contrary to what is just and right.
“But is that assumption still fair? Are we fulfilling our duty if we rubberstamp an unexamined budget in the face of abundant evidence that the rot of wasteful expenditure, mismanagement and corruption is pervasive throughout government?”
He listed a number of unfulfilled promises by Ramaphosa and said in the absence of any chance to ask and get answers, the IFP would not reasonably be expected to tell South Africans that this budget is sound.
“Regrettably, therefore, we cannot support it,” he said.
Support independent journalism by subscribing to the Sunday Times. Just R20 for the first month.