A group of patriotic South Africans, under the leadership of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, gather at KwaNzimela in KwaZulu and establish Inkatha yeNkululeko yeSizwe, the national cultural liberation movement (Kgare ya Tokoloho ya Setjhaba). Founded on the principles of the 1912 liberation movement, Inkatha rapidly becomes home to more than a million card-carrying members.
Establishes the Women’s Brigade and Youth Brigade.
Inkatha establishes its Women’s Brigade and Youth Brigade to champion the voices of oppressed women and youth.
Through its structures, Inkatha mobilises support for liberation, igniting non-violent activism against apartheid. Inkatha works closely with the ANC leadership-in-exile. At the same time, Inkatha teaches self-help and self-reliance, empowering the oppressed.
With Inkatha rapidly gaining popular support, Buthelezi is summoned to Pretoria by Minister of Justice, Police and Prisons, Jimmy Kruger, and ordered to restrict membership of Inkatha to Zulu-speaking South Africans. Buthelezi refuses, and Inkatha remains home to all oppressed South Africans.
Prince Buthelezi is summoned to Pretoria.
Buthelezi forms the South African Black Alliance.
Buthelezi forms the South African Black Alliance, comprising Indian, Coloured and Black political organisations.
On Oliver Tambo’s invitation, a delegation of Inkatha led by Buthelezi meets with a delegation of the ANC’s mission-in-exile in London. For two and a half days the ANC tries to persuade Inkatha to support its armed struggle and to allow weapons and guerrilla soldiers to be channelled into South Africa through Inkatha’s structures.
Inkatha refuses. It cannot abandon the liberation movement’s founding principle of non-violence. Buthelezi also refuses pressure to support sanctions and disinvestment, knowing the damage it will cause to the economy that the people are fighting to inherit. The two organisations cannot agree. The ANC commits to meet again in December, but that meeting never happens.
When the ANC’s Mr Cap Zungu leaks details of the meeting to the Sunday Times of London, Tambo immediately issues a statement denying that the meeting has even taken place. Buthelezi is wrongfully blamed for leaking the story, opening the door to the greater wave of propaganda that will soon be launched.
A delegation of Inkatha led by Buthelezi meets with a delegation of the ANC’s mission-in-exile in London.
Prince Buthelezi investigates the possibility of reconstituting KwaZulu and Natal as a single self-governing unit, to break out of the apartheid mould.
The Buthelezi Commission of Enquiry into Social, Economic and Political Justice investigates the possibility of reconstituting KwaZulu and Natal as a single self-governing unit, to break out of the apartheid mould. A market economy system is given preference over socialist or communist alternatives.
In pursuit of the plan to balkanise South Africa and deprive the oppressed majority of their citizenship, Prime Minister Botha offers the entire KwaZulu as an “independent” country under Buthelezi’s leadership.
But Buthelezi consistently refuses the offer. He believes in one sovereign South Africa and rejects the Bantustan concept outright. His principled stand fulfils the mission he had been given by the ANC to undermine the apartheid system from within.
Prince Buthelezi believes in one sovereign South Africa and rejects the Bantustan concept outright.
Inkatha holds a joint protest meeting.
Inkatha holds a joint protest meeting with the Progressive Federal Party against Government’s plan to cede KaNgwane and Ingwavuma to Swaziland. Ultimately, Buthelezi takes the Government to court and successfully blocks this plan.
Buthelezi visits President Ronald Reagan and various Heads of State to urge against economic sanctions and disinvestment, as many of the large multinational corporations are the biggest employers of black South Africans.
Prince Buthelezi visits America’s leaders.
Prince Buthelezi appointed Chief Executive Councillor.
Black-on-black violence engulfs KwaZulu and the then Witwatersrand as the ANC’s People’s War is unleashed on South Africa.
With Inkatha seen as a threat to political dominance, the ANC turns the People’s War on Inkatha supporters. Over the next few years, some 20 000 black lives are lost to violence, counter-violence, preemptive violence and revenge attacks. Throughout, Buthelezi maintains the call for peace and no retaliation.
From April to November of 1986, under Buthelezi’s leadership, provincial constitutional talks are engaged through the KwaZulu Natal Indaba. This results in the establishment of the KwaZulu-Natal Joint Executive Authority, South Africa’s first non-racial, non-discriminatory government.
KwaZulu-Natal Joint Executive Authority is established.
On 2 February, President FW de Klerk announces in Parliament his decision to release Mandela. Buthelezi is the only person he mentions by name as having persuaded him to make this decision.
On 11 February, Mandela finally walks free. At his first mass rally, he publicly thanks Buthelezi for all that he did to secure his release. Mandela indicates to his supporters that political violence must end.
Mandela and Buthelezi, together with their delegations, meet for the first time since Mandela’s release, at the Royal Hotel in Durban.
After lengthy discussions, they publicly commit to hold joint rallies from that point onwards, to end the violence between the two parties. Tragically, the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal immediately prevents Mandela from fulfilling his commitment to share a podium with Buthelezi.
Mandela and Buthelezi commit to hold joint rallies.
Throughout the constitutional negotiations, the IFP advocates a federal system, devolution of powers, social and economic rights, a constitutional court, independent organs of state controlling the executive, the recognition of indigenous and customary law, and the need for a Bill of Rights.
It becomes clear that the ANC and NP Government are not negotiating in good faith. They declare that anything agreed upon between the two would constitute “sufficient consensus”, to the exclusion of every other voice in South Africa. The IFP withdraws from negotiations.
ANC and NP Government are not Negotiating in Good Faith.
The signing of the Agreement for Reconciliation and Peace by Prince Buthelezi, Mr Nelson Mandela and then President FW de Klerk, committing to convene international mediation after the 1994 elections to finalise outstanding matters from the negotiating table.
On the basis of this commitment, the IFP participates in the elections. However, the commitment is never honoured.
Despite having had only eight days to campaign, the IFP wins more than 2 million votes in South Africa’s first democratic elections. In KwaZulu-Natal, the IFP is elected to govern.
President Mandela announces the formation of the Government of National Unity in terms of the Interim Constitution.
Prince Buthelezi is appointed South Africa’s first Minister of Home Affairs, while Dr Ben Ngubane becomes Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology, and Mr Sipho Mzimela becomes Minister of Correctional Services.
In KwaZulu-Natal, Dr Frank Mdlalose becomes the first Premier under a democratic system and sets up his Provincial Cabinet.
The IFP makes a comprehensive submission to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, including the details of 420 IFP leaders and office bearers who had been systematically assassinated. None of these cases is ever investigated by the TRC.
Dr Ben Ngubane becomes the IFP’s second Premier of KwaZulu-Natal.
Subsequently, he serves in this capacity 22 times under President Mandela and President Mbeki.
Mr Ben Skosana is appointed Minister of Correctional Services.
The IFP retains KwaZulu-Natal, but invites the ANC to participate in governance for the sake of reconciliation.
With South Africa’s second national and provincial elections, the IFP retains KwaZulu-Natal, but invites the ANC to participate in governance for the sake of reconciliation.
Nationally, the IFP becomes the second largest opposition party and retains 34 seats in Parliament. Despite the final Constitution making no requirement for a Government of National Unity, President Mbeki invites Prince Buthelezi to continue as Minister of Home Affairs for another five years. Dr Ben Ngubane continues as Minister of Arts and Culture and Mr Ben Skosana as Minister of Correctional Services.
Dr LPHM Mtshali becomes the IFP’s third Premier of KwaZulu-Natal.
Under the leadership of Premier LPHM Mtshali, the antiretroviral Nevirapine is rolled out to clinics across KwaZulu-Natal to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV/Aids at birth.
The programme is such a success that the Treatment Action Campaign takes national Government to the Constitutional Court demanding that it be done throughout South Africa. This becomes one of our country’s greatest success stories in the fight against HIV/Aids.
The antiretroviral Nevirapine is rolled out to clinics across KwaZulu-Natal to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV/Aids at birth.
The IFP becomes the Official Opposition in KwaZulu-Natal, retaining several seats in the provincial cabinet.
With the third national and provincial elections, the IFP becomes the Official Opposition in KwaZulu-Natal, retaining several seats in the provincial cabinet.
Buthelezi proposes a constitutional amendment to separate the position of Head of State and Head of Government to give South Africa a President who truly represents all the people, is above party politics, and above reproach. The Bill is defeated by an ANC majority.
A Constitutional Amendment.
Buthelezi provides evidence in Parliament of the ANC’s role in splitting the IFP through the formation of the NFP.
Buthelezi provides evidence in Parliament of the ANC’s role in splitting the IFP through the formation of the NFP.
His evidence is not contradicted. The Local Government Elections see the newly formed NFP split the vote for the IFP, with painful consequences. Nevertheless, the IFP retains several municipalities.
IFP MP Dr Mario Oriani-Ambrosini introduces the Medical Innovation Bill which seeks to make South Africa a centre of medical research and innovation, while legalising the medical use of cannabis. Tragically, he loses the battle to Cancer that same year.
IFP MP Dr Mario Oriani-Ambrosini Introduces the Medical Innovation Bill.
The results of the national and provincial elections see the IFP back on an upward trajectory, with increased support. In KwaZulu-Natal, the IFP overtakes the DA and once again becomes the Official Opposition.
On 24 August, at the IFP’s National Elective Conference, Buthelezi officially retires from the presidency of the Party. The Hon. Mr Velenkosini Hlabisa is unanimously elected President of the IFP. Buthelezi is asked to continue providing guidance as President Emeritus.
The results of the national and provincial elections see the IFP back on an upward trajectory.
Lockdown in South Africa.
The Covid-19 pandemic forces South Africa into a national lockdown. The IFP provides leadership and support as communities endure tremendous loss, both of lives and livelihoods. The IFP NEC unanimously agrees that the IFP will make a contribution of half a million rand (R500 000) to the Solidarity Fund, sourced from IFP Public Representatives through the Office of the IFP Treasurer-General.
IFP President Velenkosini Hlabisa calls for calm amidst the fast-escalating unrest, violence and looting in KwaZulu-Natal. IFP Founder and President Emeritus, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, is first to call for the deployment of the SANDF. During and after the unrest, IFP leaders are on the ground, providing support and guidance to communities.
The IFP’s upward trajectory continued in the 2021 Local Government Elections, which took place on 1 November, after being postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The IFP took home 5.65% of the popular votes, and gained control of 16 additional Municipalities, giving the Party the third-largest share of local government, with 29 Municipalities in total.
The IFP paid tribute to all of those working on the frontlines and remembered and honoured the more than 100 000 souls lost to Covid-19.
4 April 2022
Floods in KwaZulu-Natal are described as “the most catastrophic natural disaster yet recorded in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) in collective terms of lives lost, homes and infrastructure damaged or destroyed and economic impact”.
In addition to providing ongoing support to affected communities, the IFP donates R250 000 to Gift of the Givers to support the flood-relief efforts.
The IFP’s Private Members Bill (PMB), the Employment Services Amendment Bill, is launched by the IFPYB.
Among others, the IFP PMB’s goal is to “prioritise the employment of South African citizens who are ready, willing, and capable of taking up the available job opportunities”. The PMB is a response to citizens voicing their concerns about the free-falling youth unemployment rate and the number of foreign nationals working in the unskilled and low-skilled occupational levels.
As the Official Opposition in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature, the IFP demanded the immediate termination of the service provider which failed dismally to provide food in schools across the province.
The IFP gave the Premier seven days to terminate the contract, as well as called for the re-instatement of the original service providers, to ensure that the millions of learners impacted would again receive meals. Within two days, the incompetent service provider’s contract was terminated.
The IFP was one of 19 applicants who jointly approached the High Court to seek relief “aimed at reducing the prejudicial impact of loadshedding on public health facilities, police stations and schools which do not have sufficient alternative energy sources available to them”.
The Court ordered the Minister of Public Enterprises to “take all reasonable steps within 60 days… to ensure … sufficient supply or generation of electricity to prevent any interruption of supply as a result of loadshedding to… all ‘public health establishments’… all ‘public schools’ and the ‘South African Police Service’ and ‘police stations’”.