Mbalula warns Contralesa against influence of lying and thieving politicians

22 September 2023 - 20:41
By Zimasa Matiwane
ANC SG Fikile Mbalula delivers a memorial lecture in honour of Inkosi Mhlabunzima Maphumulo
Image: Sandile Ndlovu ANC SG Fikile Mbalula delivers a memorial lecture in honour of Inkosi Mhlabunzima Maphumulo

ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula on Friday warned traditional leaders to guard against political influence, saying “political leaders are liars and thieves”.

“Don't be used and misled by political leaders because they are dishonest. You are not elected in conference so stand for truth,” Mbalula said. 

He was delivering a memorial lecture in honour of Inkosi Mhlabunzima Maphumulo, the founding president of the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa).

In the presence of Contralesa leaders, religious leaders and ANC members, Mbalula implored traditional leaders to emulate Maphumulo and support truth and community development. 

Mbalula also asked religious leaders to “pray for us (politicians) to do the right thing”.

The ANC secretary-general reiterated that corruption robbed communities of service delivery and traditional leaders must hold political leaders accountable with no fear. 

He also suggested that Contralesa should not be quiet on governance failures that affect their constituencies. He referred to the Sassa incident that led to South Africa's most vulnerable not receiving grant payments on time. 

Maphumulo was an ANC veteran who contributed to conflict resolution and encouraged resistance against injustice and oppression. He was a recipient of the Order of Luthuli in Gold. 

He was assassinated in 1991 at a time when he was trying to quell state-sponsored violence in the province during the last years of apartheid. 

Mbalula expressed grief and concern about present day violence and political killings in the province. 

“Today you wake up as a councillor. Tomorrow you are dead, leaving your children — killed for the councillor position. It's comrade killing comrade. We are killing each other for positions because of greed and corruption,” said Mbalula. 

He also raised concern over arrests of hitmen but never of the masterminds behind political killings.

Mbalula said small and entry level businesses such as spaza shops and hair salons were overrun by foreign ownership and should be reserved for South Africans.