Mr Thami Ntuli, PEC Chairperson – IFP KZN
Durban: 20 May 2021
It is generally accepted that press conferences are called to deal with current affairs. You might be surprised to find, therefore, that we are dealing today with a matter that goes back some forty years.
The plan to isolate Prince Buthelezi and rob Inkatha of a support base remained in place for decades. Tragically, it did not disappear completely with the advent of democracy. Through repeated evidence it is clear that the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has never given up that agenda.
This was proven again last week, when Mr Mdumiseni Ntuli, the ANC’s Provincial Secretary for KwaZulu-Natal, launched a scathing attack on the IFP and its Founder, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi.
The IFP has become used to such attacks. But what worried us in this instance was the disdain shown by the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal for the Zulu Royal Family. Mr Ntuli attacked the traditional Prime Minister to the Zulu Monarch and Nation, in a very difficult time of mourning and transition for the Kingdom – not on the basis of anything he did, but on the basis that he is Prince Buthelezi, Founder of the IFP.
This close to a Local Government Election, the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal could not stomach the praises being heaped on Prince Buthelezi for the support he has given to the Zulu Nation in this painful time. All they saw was their old enemy who must be neutralised and robbed of his support base.
It is unconscionable that the Zulu Royal Family should be dragged into a political point-scoring exercise by the ANC in this Province. I wish to categorically emphasise that the IFP recognises that the Zulu Monarchy is above politics, as is the position of the Traditional Prime Minister of the Zulu Nation and Monarch.
The accusations made by Mr Mdumiseni Ntuli do not bear repeating. But we note that he has provided no explanation – and no evidence whatsoever – for his claims that the IFP is (in his words) trying to “divert the direction that is supposed to be pursued by the Zulu Kingdom” and trying to “cause confusion in society by appropriating the Zulu Kingdom”.
What is perhaps of greater concern than this volley of nastiness from the Provincial ANC is the silence on the matter from the ANC at national level. If this attack came at any other time, we would not be surprised. But there are talks underway between the national leaders of the IFP and the ANC seeking reconciliation between our two parties.
How can the ANC at national level talk reconciliation, while the ANC at provincial level attacks the IFP and its Founder in such a despicable and gratuitous way? Are we to understand that the national ANC feels the same way as their provincial leadership? After all, Mr Ntuli did claim to speak for “the leadership of the ANC”.
It is really high time that the ANC at national level explained to its leadership in KwaZulu-Natal which of them is the dog and which is the tail. For as long as they allow their provincial leaders to destroy progress in reconciliation, there will be no healing in this most wounded Province.
The IFP in KwaZulu-Natal calls on the provincial leadership of the ANC to refrain from attacking us and attacking our Founder with baseless accusations. It does nothing for the image of the ANC in the public eye, when anyone can see the truth of the matter.
We further call on the ANC at national level to rein in their renegades, or to lay their cards on the table about reconciliation. Are these talks being done in good faith, or has the ANC in KZN exposed a genuine poison intended for the IFP?
The trend of by-elections also indicate that the ANC has their backs against the wall and these latest statements are again kneejerk reactions to deflect from their failures. We are pleased and grateful to the voters in all the KZN by-elections, as the IFP registered a growth in support. We won ward 11 in Nquthu and ward 14 in uPhongolo, effectively giving the IFP control of uPhonogolo municipality.
IFP KZN Provincial Chairperson
Hon. Thami Ntuli
072 585 5000