Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP
Founder and President Emeritus of the Inkatha Freedom Party
In light of a false media report in The Witness of today regarding talks between myself and the President of the country, His Excellency President Ramaphosa, I wish to place on record the facts around my meeting with the President.
His Excellency phoned me on the morning of Friday 12 November requesting an opportunity to meet to discuss the ongoing matter of the Zulu kingship. It was clear that this meeting would be attended in my capacity as traditional Prime Minister to the Zulu Monarch and Nation.
We agreed to meet on Monday 15 November, as we would both be in Durban. Accordingly, I met with the President at Dr Langalibalele Dube House on Monday evening.
As the President had indicated, we discussed the present matter of contestation over the heir to the late Zulu King. I presented copies of documentation provided to the Panel appointed by the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs. His Excellency sought to understand the impact of indigenous and customary law on the choosing of an heir to the Zulu King, which I duly explained.
Having discussed the matter, we noted that nothing can be done until current litigation is finalised. The cases in this regard will come before the court on 6 and 7 December.
Our meeting was cordial and there was clear intention to understand this issue for the sake of resolving the present impasse.
In light of this, it is grossly deceptive for the journalist, Mr Clive Ndou, to state in The Witness that the President and I met to “discuss coalitions” between the ANC and the IFP. I have not been part of the talks between the IFP and any of the 17 political parties with whom local governance was discussed following the Local Government Elections.
The IFP’s President and members of the team appointed by National Council to engage those talks briefed the media comprehensively today on the IFP’s decisions regarding local governance. None of this was discussed between President Ramaphosa and I, either during our meeting on Monday or at any other time.
As I was preparing to leave the meeting, His Excellency mentioned the outstanding matter between us on the propaganda tract penned in the eighties by Mr Jabulani Nxumalo, who was known as Mzala. Since our last meeting on this matter in December 2019, the President and I have not been able to meet again due to the intervention of the Coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdown.
The President indicated to me that the Hon. Dr Essop Pahad had advised the leadership of the ANC that Mzala’s book contains many false statements. We did not, however, engage on this further as that was not the subject matter of our meeting.
I take strong exception to false reports in the media, as they are damaging to relationships and in no way do they serve the best interests of our people.