NUMSA trying to hijack Ilanga strike - IFP

Party condemns call for nationalisation of newspaper


The IFP condemns, in the strongest terms, NUMSA's unjustified and selective call for the nationalisation of a successful private profit-making business that is the Ilanga newspaper.

Not only would such an action be in contravention of the South African Constitution, which protects private enterprise, but it would also be disingenuous without a similar call for the nationalisation of all businesses owned by various ANC cronies.

The Ilanga newspaper with its strong growth in readership and advertising is a robust success story in the media environment which has seen newspaper circulations plummet. This success has steadily trickled down to all its stakeholders, among whom Ilanga is proud to include its newsroom staff.

The IFP, for its part in the ownership of the Ilanga newspaper, has never interfered in management or editorial matters pertaining to this newspaper. It will therefore not start intervening now, except for a resolute defense of the private enterprise as a driving force for the betterment of the lives of all South Africans, especially those whose economic opportunities were curtailed by discrimination under apartheid.

The IFP is extremely appalled that NUMSA would try to hijack a strike that has got nothing to do with them, in an effort to take unwarranted potshots at the IFP and score cheap political points.

The comments with regard to the manager of the Ilanga, Mr Arthur Koningkramer, whom they have termed as an "imperialist German national", have exposed NUMSA as an organisation which is deeply and fundamentally racist.

The allegation that the IFP sides with those who treat African Blacks poorly is nothing but an obtuse statement that exposes NUMSA's lack of political insight and knowledge of our history. The IFP was founded to protect the interests of the poor and marginalised and has done so since its inception in 1975. Moreover, it was the IFP President Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP who supported the labour movement long before 1975 and long before they had received support from other sectors of our society.

The IFP has publicly said so before, and we repeat it again, that in the interest of the welfare of the workers of Ilanga and the supporters and readers of Ilanga the IFP is hopeful for a speedy resolution to the current impasse at the newspaper.

Statement issued by Prof Christian Themba Msimang MP, IFP deputy secretary general, April 14 2012

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