The Daily News
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I note that Police Commissioner Bheki Cele has said, in your paper, that I should not speak to the media about political assassinations being plotted against IFP councillors. Instead, I should speak to the SAPS. But Commissioner Cele knows very well that the IFP has approached the SAPS in the past, with little success. Political assassinations have continued in KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng.
In Durban, Escourt, Umtshezi and Imbabazane, IFP councillors have been attacked and maimed. In Nselini, an IFP member was shot in broad daylight and lost his leg. But no one has been arrested for these crimes. Just days before the 2011 elections, Godfrey Mahlobo, an IFP candidate, was assaulted at Ndwedwe.
This is reminiscent of the low-intensity civil war that raged between the ANC and the IFP in the eighties and early nineties, during which more than four hundred IFP leaders were murdered. The perpetrators have never been brought to book.
During the 2009 general election, the SAPS unleashed a reign of terror on the community of Zululand. It happened again during these elections, in Nongoma, where members of the IFP were targeted by the SAPS.
The IFP has repeatedly warned that the SAPS is no longer an independent body, but that it looks after the interests of the ruling party. The Head of Police, Commissioner Bheki Cele, is a known ANC activist, an ANC NEC member and a loyal and close friend of ANC President Jacob Zuma. The loyalty of the SAPS is therefore hardly obscure.
Thus, when I approach the SAPS to express fear for the safety of the IFP's leaders and members, I strongly doubt my complaints will receive the attention they deserve.
I raised my concerns in the media in the hope that these plots will be exposed. We know that the ANC will go to any lengths to get rid of its political rivals. As the vanguard of our democracy, it is the media's responsibility to highlight these matters. In doing so, they might protect opposition parties against the ANC's thuggery, abuse of power and criminal tendencies.
PRINCE MANGOSUTHU BUTHELEZI MP
PRESIDENT OF THE INKATHA FREEDOM PARTY