NATIONAL COUNCIL MEETING 17 May 1999
The National Council of the Inkatha Freedom Party met in Ulundi on this 17th day of May 1999 and unanimously adopted the following:
- The National Council has received a full report from Mr Philip Powell which was presented today explaining the acquisition and storage of weapons delivered to him by Eugene de Kock in 1993.
- In the debate that followed members of the National Council noted Mr Powell’s report.
NOW THEREFORE THE NATIONAL COUNCIL –
- restates that the leadership of the IFP was never informed that weapons were received from Mr. Eugene de Kock and were buried in KwaZulu Natal;
- fully supports the President of the IFP Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, both in his capacity as the Chief Minister of the former KwaZulu Government and as the President of the IFP, who has stressed that he never authorised the acquisition of such weapons, nor was he ever informed about any aspect of the matter;
- acknowledges that the acquisition of these weapons must be placed within the context of the conflicts of the past to which it belongs, and that such context was characterised by a low intensity civil war resulting from the unwarranted and murderous ANC attacks on the IFP;
- feels that under such historical circumstances the acquisition and subsequent underground storage of these weapons can neither be condoned nor condemned;
- feels that while being unable to comment on any aspect of the matter involving the erstwhile KwaZulu Government, on whose behalf the IFP is not authorised to speak, it nevertheless notes that Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi and other former Cabinet ministers of that Government have stated that the matter was never discussed in, or authorised by their Cabinet;
- applauds the fact that these weapons have now been surrendered into the hands of the State as an important step towards the strengthening of peace and reconciliation in KwaZulu Natal and between the IFP and the ANC;
- trusts that the surrender of these weapons should rightly be regarded by the ANC and the public at large as an act of goodwill;
- commends all those who in their different capacities and positions were involved in the surrendering of these weapons;
- expresses its appreciation that the surrender of these weapons has taken place within the same time period in which the IFP and the ANC have finally successfully negotiated and executed a Code of Conduct as a further step towards peace and reconciliation;
- condemns the unwarranted reaction by the ANC in KwaZulu Natal which has attacked the IFP, its leader, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi and the IFP’s leadership in connection with the surrender of these weapons, thereby purposely heightening political tensions and ignoring the goodwill of this action by Mr Powell;
- condemns the several statements made by the ANC leadership in KwaZulu Natal seeking to criminalise certain IFP members and to propagate intimidation and the spectre of further violence in KwaZulu Natal, which shows that the ANC leadership of KwaZulu Natal has not yet accepted the need to act responsibly and abandon the ways and means of violence and the armed struggle;
- notes with concern the threats to the safety and security of the home and family of Mr Powell and expresses to him and his family the support of the Party;
- notes with grave concern that all the foregoing actions by the ANC and certain elements in the media are violations of the Code of Conduct in KwaZulu Natal between the ANC and the IFP which have taken place even before the ink of the signatures has dried;
- calls on the ANC to abandon its hypocrisy and surrender to the State the many arms caches that it still controls and to publicly reveal the time, date and size of the arms caches it claims it has handed over;
- calls on the people of KwaZulu Natal and the whole of South Africa to recognise that the unwillingness of the ANC to surrender its vast arms caches, which are enormously larger than those surrendered by Mr Philip Powell, remains one of the main stumbling blocks towards complete peace and real democracy in our country; and
- recommits the IFP to leaving no stone unturned, nor sparing any effort in the pursuance of everlasting peace and reconciliation in accordance with its revolution of goodwill.