Barnes says the NFP strives for a united continent and a South Africa that ‘looks like an African country’.

Following its near dissipation due to infighting, the National Freedom Party (NFP) is back on the campaign trail, launching its 2024 election manifesto in Ulundi, KwaZulu-Natal.

Delivering his manifesto launch speech on Saturday, party president Ivin Barnes first praised the work of the party’s late founder Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi, promising to carry forward her plans and believes.

“Today, we stand on the precipice of history, gathered here in Ulundi, the heartland of our movement.

“I am filled with pride and joy, feeling the spirit of Kamagwaza-Msibi saying we should go forth and never look back.

“The path we travel is drawn by her footsteps. May her soul rest in peace. Her spirit for freedom and equality is guiding us and we remain steadfast to those principles,” said Barnes.

‘We are all Africans’

Barnes said his party is guided by Marxist revolutionary and ex-president of Burkina Faso Thomas Sankara.

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Echoing EFF leader Julius Malema well-known referrals to African revolutionaries such as Sankara, Barnes added that African nationalism was “not just a slogan, but a driving principle that drives us forward.”

“We embrace the wisdom of Sankara, looking to the past to guide us as we strive to create a truly African Union rooted in the values and customs of our people.

“NFP seeks to restore what was violently taken away from our people and reclaim our humanity and rightful place in our land.

“We envision a South Africa that looks and feels like an African country. Let’s stop divisions along tribal lines, there is no foreigner in this country, we are all Africans.”

Plans for the next five years

Turning to the problems facing South Africans, Barnes said his party promises job creation, access to education, industrialisation, strong traditional leadership and good governance.

He identified corruption, racism, crime, gender-based violence, the neglect of rural communities, slow service delivery and the lack of land re-distribution as the overarching challenges in the country.

“While some of these issues need a total overhaul of how the State is run, others happen because of an inability to govern.

“We have a problem of [ANC] cadre development where inexperienced and unqualified people are hired to run government.

“Our commitment to South Africans is that we will work hand in hand to achieve in priority areas in the next five years,” Barnes said.

NFP is a breakaway of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP). Recent factional disputes and squabbles saw members dump the party.

They included long-time MP Shaik Emam who left to join the Allied Movement for Change (AM4C) as its president.

The chaos settled down last December when an elective conference was held, electing Barnes as president.

It will go up against the ANC, IFP, DA, EFF and MK Party in the battle of the highly contested province of KwaZulu-Natal on 29 May.

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