The Sunday Times
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In his article “Shedding light on us darkies” Fred Khumalo pontificates on issues of race and identity in South Africa, but deviates to launch an absurd attack on Inkatha Freedom Party President Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi.
Khumalo argues that Buthelezi and others were the “master’s surrogates” and that “at best, they were apologists for the status quo; at worst, they were violent enforcers of the master’s regime to deepen the black community’s state of wretchedness.”
This is not the first attack on the integrity of the IFP President. A quick search of the media archives shows how the Sunday Times has published an avalanche of similar preposterous attacks on Buthelezi.
Khumalo’s determined distortion of history is nothing short of fanatical.
History records that Buthelezi led the apartheid-imposed KwaZulu Government at the behest of the ANC. It was Buthelezi’s rejection of independence for KwaZulu that foiled the government’s attempt to balkanise South Africa. According to FW de Klerk, this toppled the grand scheme of apartheid. This has been amply recognized by President Zuma and Deputy President Motlanthe, who is on the parliamentary record describing Buthelezi as ‘an icon’.
Buthelezi held more rallies in South Africa than anyone else to free Mandela. It was Buthelezi who was invited by the ANC-in-exile to deliver the oration at the funeral of the late Inkosi Albert Luthuli.
He was received by Presidents of African countries when he was already Chief Minister of KwaZulu in the early 70’s – such as Kenneth Kaunda, Julius Nyere and Emperor Haile Salassie to name a few – in recognition of his impeccable anti-apartheid and freedom fighter credentials.
He has won international acclaim for championing justice and human rights, and has been awarded the George Meany Human Rights Award, the Courage Under Fire Award of the American Conservative Union, and the Order of the Star of Africa, to name a few. These are the simple facts of history which sink Khumalo’s obtuse claim that Buthelezi was somehow an apartheid stooge.
Not content with only one attack on the integrity and character of the IFP President, the Sunday Times launched a second attack in the same edition. In his article “Zuma: no more Mr Nice Guy” Caiphus Kgosana claims that the IFP President went on “a tired rant about the ANC plotting to overthrow him”.
In reality, Buthelezi presented Parliament with overwhelming evidence that some leaders within the ANC are deeply embroiled in the rift that developed in the IFP. This was not overdramatic, exaggerated or “tired”. It was an expression of fact. As a leader, the IFP President has an obligation to sound the alarm. South Africans deserve to know that the ruling Party is on a campaign to get rid of opposition parties by any means.
The distortions in both these articles speak of a lack of objectivity in the Sunday Times’ reporting on matters relating to the IFP.
Frankly, it begs the question why the Editor of our largest Sunday paper allows prominent journalists to abuse the platforms they are given. Clearly this is not fair commentary on political matters, but a personal vendetta against one of South Africa’s most prominent political figures.
REVEREND MUSA ZONDI MP
IFP SECRETARY-GENERAL AND NATIONAL SPOKESPERSON