The Inkatha Freedom Party wishes to enlighten Protas Madlala about the difference between the use of public funding and private sponsorship at government events after he expressed support for the use of banners depicting the faces of politicians at the King Shaka Commemoration at KwaDukuza.

“We agree that any sponsor of an event is entitled to receive publicity commensurate with its contribution towards the event. But it is important for Madlala to differentiate between corporate sponsorship funds and the public purse. Private companies that sponsor events have every right to display their branding at those events. Madlala must also not confuse a soccer match to an event like the King Shaka Commemoration. This event was funded by the Office of the Premier using tax payer’s money after approval by the Legislature which is comprised of all political parties representing tax payers. In view of this there is no doubt that the event was sponsored by the tax payer and not the Premier or any MEC. Therefore there can be no justification for the display of banners bearing the face of politicians when the sponsor of the event is the tax payer. This must apply at all events that are staged using tax payer’s money”, said IFP Leader in the KZN Legislature, Hon Blessed Gwala MPL.

“We are aware that KwaZulu-Natal has a Coat of Arms which is printed on banners and flags. If the government is sincere about embracing all of its citizens at government events, then it must use the banners and flags that depict the KZN Coat of Arms instead of the faces of politicians. Events that are sponsored out of the public purse must not become political platforms for the ruling party. We must commend His Majesty the King for being observant and placing this issue before public scrutiny,” continued Mr Gwala.

“Whenever events such as the King Shaka Commemoration and the Reed Dance that are presided over by His Majesty the King are held, the banners that are used must depict images of His Majesty and that of King Shaka. Tax payers, who are the sponsors of such events, must feel welcome and not be alienated. The IFP has always raised the issue of the abuse of public funds for political grandstanding and electioneering by the ANC. This must not be allowed to continue”, concluded Hon Gwala.