By email: [email protected]
In the necessary shorthand of journalism, articles published in your paper have created confusion about the IFP, Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi and me, collapsing into one several issues which ought to be presented and understood separately.
Ms Magwaza-Msibi has been charged by the IFP National Council with a major disciplinary breach for the alleged dishonesty of publically stating that she was not running for the IFP presidency while in fact doing so. This matter was pending when she went to court to stop these proceedings and lost. These proceedings will now resume. I have nothing to do with this matter which is both disciplinary and legal.
At the political level, she made statements both in court and elsewhere suggesting that I am unfit to continue to lead the IFP and defaming my person and leadership style. This is a serious political matter. I could be satisfied that also in this respect her court argument has been dismissed with cost. But her court defeat and my vindication have not placated her supporters. In this context it is arduous answering questions on whether a political reconciliation is possible.
Throughout my life, I have suffered innumerable betrayals, but have always left the door open for reconciliation based on genuine atonement. I have no reason to change now. But I see no sign of atonement from anyone concerned.
My greatest interest is to maintain the unity and strength of the IFP, not for my sake, but for South Africa’s sake, as there is no other party which can play the role we do. But at this point the door towards this type of reconciliation seems to be closed, not by me, but by the IFP leaders seemingly supporting Magwaza-Msibi
I wish the debates moved away from leadership issues to a better appreciation of the IFP’s role in present politics. The ANC government has tried to be everything to everyone and in the process has lost all the important battles, including poverty, education, unemployment, HIV-AIDS, crime, fiscal planning and economic growth. We are at a stall point from which we may rapidly drop.
South Africa needs the IFP’s contribution of experience and integrity. Debates should concentrate on this ahead of our forthcoming political and elective general conference.
Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP
President of the Inkatha Freedom Party