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Death penalty, subsidised public transport: Here's what the IFP manifesto says

The party launched its elections manifesto in Soweto on Human Rights Day at the Zola Sports Complex.

FILE: IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi greets supporters at Chatsworth stadium during the launch of the party's 2019 election manifesto. Picture: Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN.

SOWETO - Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi on Thursday called for a debate on the reintroduction of the death penalty to deter violent crime in the country.

Buthelezi addressed thousands of party supporters in Soweto on Human Rights Day at the launch of the IFP’s Gauteng manifesto at the Zola Sports Complex. The gathering also marked the IFP’s 44th birthday.

Buthelezi and the African Christian Democratic Party leader Kenneth Meshoe are the only two faces on this year’s ballot paper who also contested in the 1994 elections.

Buthelezi said he would retire following the 8 May general elections.

He bemoaned the high crime rate and what he called a lack of social justice in South Africa. Among the solutions Buthelezi offered was to talk about death penalty.

He said some people distorted his call to mean that the IFP wanted the death penalty to be reintroduced, but this was not necessarily the case.

The death penalty was scrapped in 1994 because the Constitution afforded South Africans a right to life. Buthelezi also said the police budget should be reprioritised to focus on community policing. There should be more visible police on the streets, he said.

Buthelezi also bemoaned the stories of corruption being heard by the Zondo Commission on state capture. He said late president Nelson Mandela would feel like many people do now: betrayed, insulted and deceived.

BILL OF RIGHTS

Buthelezi said the IFP was the party that pushed for a Bill of Rights, and not the African National Congress and the former National Party government.

He told party supporters in Soweto that they should cast their vote for a party they trust, and not base their decisions on promises, but on facts.

Buthelezi described the IFP as a watchdog party that will trust government do what is right and honest. He told people to vote with their head as well as their heart.

He also said Eskom’s failure to keep the lights on meant that small businesses were hurting and could collapse. He said the IFP had a plan to rescue the economy.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

The IFP said it wants to introduce a subsidised public transport card for jobseekers on the Gautrain and on buses to help people to find work. The party also wants to see e- tolls scrapped.

Buthelezi spoke for almost two hours at the Gauteng manifesto launch, first in English, and then repeating his speech in isiZulu.

The 90-year-old leader told thousands of supporters that safe and affordable public transport was needed for economic growth.

Buthelezi said there should be a one-card system for all forms of local transport.

He also said obstacles should be removed for those trying to find jobs. There should be a subsidised jobseeker’s metro card for the Gautrain, Rea Vaya, and the Metrobus, and the cost of data should be lowered, he said.

Buthelezi said IFP councillors in Johannesburg were already working to offer practical solutions to problems, rather than just making promises.

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