NATIONAL COUNCIL MEETING 26 October 2000
The National Council of the Inkatha Freedom Party met in Ulundi on this 26th and 27th day of October 2000 and unanimously adopted the following resolution:
- The National Council of the IFP has received a report on the progress of negotiations between Government and traditional leaders, which have now gone on for almost a year. The Inkatha Freedom Party praises President TM Mbeki for the commitment he made to traditional leadership that the powers of traditional leaders and those of traditional authorities would not be diminished and, if already diminished, would be fully restored.
- The IFP applauds the undertaking from President TM Mbeki that he would identify, formulate and develop an interim solution to be implemented through legislation before elections to ensure that powers of traditional leadership be preserved and/or restored.
- The IFP expresses its concern that, while the legislation promised by the President needs to be published by no later than November 3, there is still no information about progress on this matter and the meeting requested by traditional leaders with the President to discuss whatever solution the President has formulated, has not yet materialised.
- The IFP takes cognisance of the statement made by President Mbeki in the NCOP that Parliament would be reconvened to process the new legislation on traditional leadership, and praises him for it. However, the IFP must express its concern that no step has yet been taken to reconvene Parliament.
- The IFP is also concerned that no feedback has been given to traditional leaders in respect of the detailed legislative amendment which they submitted to the President on October 13, 2000, to assist the President in the task he undertook to develop the new legislation. It is surprising that no consultation on this issue has yet taken place because, obviously, the solution which the President will formulate must first be canvassed with traditional leaders to ensure that they may support it.
- The IFP prays God Almighty that this is not going to be a repeat performance of the breach of the solemn agreement on international mediation, which was signed by President Mandela, FW de Klerk and Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi on April 19, 1994, and never honoured. The firm undertaking made by President Mbeki to traditional leaders was captured and restated in a letter from the Chairman of the National House of Traditional Leaders to the President’s Director-General, Frank Chikane, which was reviewed by the President, who requested amendments to it immediately after the meeting at which the President made his commitment. We pray that this time around South Africa may cleanse its image and honour by proving that the word of its Head of State and Head of Government can always be relied on.
- The IFP expresses its support for the efforts of President Mbeki, knowing well that the promised eleventh hour solution is the only one which can prevent an imminent and impending catastrophe, and urges the President to take cognisance that time is running out to disarm the time-bomb of rising tensions and frustrations flowing from the unresolved issue of traditional leadership and the finally universally acknowledged reality that the powers of traditional leadership will be obliterated with the establishment of the new municipalities.