Letter to the Editor
Via email: [email protected]
I have taken note of the response by Sadtu’s Mbuyiseni Mathonsi to Mr Mondli Makhanya, titled “Congress had Zulu leaders” (Sowetan, 08 June 2012) in which he accuses Mr Makhanya of “embedded ignorance” about current political developments.
Yet, Mr Mathonsi suffers from the same ignorance. He claims that “many ANC members in KZN died fighting tribalism as espoused by the Inkatha Freedom Party that was mobilizing people on narrow Zulu nationalism to entrench apartheid”.
This is simply not true. Everything the IFP has done in the past 37 years has been in the greater interest of South Africa, not specific rural constituencies. Nothing the IFP has espoused has been limited to the interests of Zulu people in general or rural Zulus in particular.
For example, in the 1980s Prince Buthelezi established the Buthelezi Commission, which set the basis for the KwaZulu Natal Indaba of 1986 in which the representatives of the people of our country, from all race and ethnic groups, came together to work towards bring about social, economic and political justice. These joint efforts were in total defiance of both the laws and the culture of apartheid, and yet they were so forceful that the apartheid regime was unable to stop the formation of the KwaZulu Natal Joint Executive Authority, which was the first interracial government of South Africa.
History records that Minister Jimmy Kruger called Buthelezi to Pretoria in 1977 to warn him to stop non-Zulus from joining Inkatha yeNkululeko yeSizwe, as it was then known. Buthelezi refused to heed this warning.
Mathonsi’s immense distortions of history are further evident in his portrayal of the conflict between Inkatha and the ANC. Dr Anthea Jeffrey’s seminal tome, “People’s War”, has exposed the ANC’s relentless war against Inkatha, waged because Inkatha rejected the armed struggle. The IFP is, and always has been, a party of peace.
Like many others, it is clear that Sadtu suffers from severe political amnesia. Furthermore, the attempt to evoke the stale propaganda that the IFP has a history of only being concerned with tribalism and violence, is nothing more than an attempt to score cheap political points. Unlike Sadtu, the IFP always has and always will put the interests of all South Africans first.
Ms Liezl van der Merwe MP
Press Officer to Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP