Last Thursday, one Bheki Mtolo, masquerading as the ANC KZN Provincial Secretary, launched an unwarranted and scathing attack on IFP Founder and President Emeritus, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, in a piece titled, “Let’s brace for the rage to follow” published in the Daily News (20 July 2023). The tirade had all the makings of the drunken writings of a mad man wielding an axe, baiting violence in a sorry, pathetic, cheap, and desperate act to deflect focus on his failings as Provincial Secretary.
Aptly the adage goes “drunk words are sober thoughts…”
It is quite clear that the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal is not committed to reconciliation between the IFP and the ANC. The rantings and delusions of Bheki Mtolo are a blurb capturing the real attitude of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal.
Seemingly trying to be clever by half, Bheki Mtolo characterises himself a victim who will be attacked for his utterances, in a sordid bid to pre-empt a response. It is an old tactic employed by propagandists, and in Mtolo’s case, it is straight out of the ANC People’s War playbook.
Mtolo is a danger to democracy. He is a war-mongering lunatic, facing the inevitable implosion of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal, as the prospects of losing power come to the fore ahead of the 2024 elections.
He is small boy projecting importance through a statesman way out of his league.
The IFP will not be distracted by useful idiots of Mtolo’s ilk, as we continue on our trajectory of growth towards 2024. The IFP will win through the barrel of the ballot.
At the heart of the Mtolo chronicles is an attempt to reposition the ANC as a custodian of the Zulu Monarchy and cast Prince Buthelezi as a villain. The irony could not be more pronounced, when history shows that Prince Buthelezi rebuilt and remodelled the Zulu Monarchy to its glory from the ashes, often much to the risk of his own political career.
The IFP almost did not contest the 1994 elections because the ANC-NP modus operandi at CODESA of “sufficient consensus” totally opposed anything and everything resembling traditional leadership.
Now that the monarchy enjoys public support, Mtolo wants to bask in its glory without having once toiled for its status, recognition, and legitimacy. He is a mascot of the “Fika Sekudliwa League”.
No amount of theatre or posturing by Mtolo will sully the leadership, contribution, legitimacy, role, and credibility of Prince Buthelezi in matters of the Zulu Royal Family and the AmaZulu Nation.
Whilst in all these matters Mtolo is a non-entity, what he says matters because he holds a position of leadership and, in some diminishing quarters, sways influence, so we cannot ignore him. He is like an erratic child with a matchstick, playing in a barn full of fireworks.
Ultimately, what this exposes – and confirms – is the sentiment expressed by former President Thabo Mbeki that the ANC has a problem of “o-ngikhetheni”. Mtolo is the microcosm of this leadership deficit problem.
Oh Bheki, one more thing: see you at the next by-election!
Mkhuleko Hlengwa MP
IFP National Spokesperson
071 111 0539