Inkatha Freedom party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi is the clear winner with a charming Boer song
Solidarity trade union got the electoral ball rolling early this year by inviting a large range of political leaders to their video-forum to introduce them and their policies to the Afrikaner voters.
The one leader who immediately stood out from the crowd was the Inkatha Freedom Party leader, the widely-respected Zulu prince Dr Mangosuthu Buthelezi.
On this video, he launched into a whopping good rendition of a charming 19th century Voortrekker song called 'Watch how those Farmers ride'... On this brief video clip, Buthelezi is heard singing the Boer-Voortrekker song at the celebration of a leading Afrikaner parliamentarian in his party, Koos van der Merwe's 70th birthday recently.
Many Afrikaners -- usually referred to by black South Africans as Boers, Dutch for farmers -- say that this peaceful song by Dr Buthelezi is in sharp contrast to the fear they feel whenever they listen to African National Congress leader Jacob Zuma's warlike 'bring me my machine gun' song, which is one of the main reasons why he however, also has gained such huge popular support among the young black voting electorate. See Zuma's song here:
The eighty-year-old Buthelezi's crystal-clear rendition clearly won the heart of the Afrikaners in the audience. Buthelezi started singing this charming song at public meetings about a year ago during a forum about the large-scale emigration by young Afrikaner families, where he also issued a call for these skilled Afrikaner expats to return because their country needs them.
This huge brain-drain - estimates are that at least 1,2-million have already left the country of their birth -- is also creating increasing infrastructure-problems because most of these emigrants also are the skilled engineers, nurses and teachers who used to keep the technical infastructures going - especially the water-purification plants, but also the electricity networks are increasingly suffering from widespread neglect at the moment, with hundreds of the country's water purification plants now simply dumping their raw sewerage untreated back into the rivers. That's why there's a spreading cholera epidemic which in turn is causing increasing political unrest. See and also see and also see
More than 80% of the country's skilled, experienced engineers have already left since 1994. And, in an effort to get them back, Solidarity trade union, which represents mostly Afrikaans-speaking workers, has recently launched a Homecoming Campaign - and thus also hope that Buthelezi's song might bring at least some of these families back to South Africa, to show them that the attitudes against the next generation of Afrikaners are beginning to change, and that it would be safe for them to return... see
Solidarity trade union spokesman Dirk Hermann - who placed the brief clip on the internet -- said Buthelezi 's song was going to be a top-hit among the Afrikaner electorate. "Particularly impressive are his crystal-clear high notes when he sings: "The Cape girl says ting-e-ling-eling!" he said.
On a more serious note, Hermann also said this video also is a strong message from one of South Africa's most important black political leaders to respect one another's cultures.
Buthelezi's video forms part of 21 electoral party-political messages by various polical party spokesmen - in which the leaders of Inkatha, the ANC, the breakaway party COPE, and the Democratic Alliance all provide their opinions on the subjects of black-economic empowerment laws (which have left more than one-third of the Afrikaners homeless and impoverished); and the country's out-of-control crime epidemic -- with specific messages targetting the Afrikaner electorate.
The only white tribe of Africa
African National Congress president Jacob Zuma said on one video that 'Afrikaners are the only white tribe of Africa'. He added that they were 'necessary to turn South Africa into a better place'. However he recently also announced that he would not be dropping the party's black-economic-empowerment programme - which bars the vast majority of white workers from the entire labour market only because of their white skins.
The breakaway faction COPE's elected leader Mosioua "Terror" Lekota said on his video clip -- in a direct sideswipe at the ANC-party's political cronyism - that his party 'was not prepared to appoint people only because of their party-political affiliations: 'we demand that people are capable of doing the jobs they were hired for.'
By Adriana Stuijt