Letter to the Editor
Via email: [email protected]
In her piece, "When plots thicken and memories weaken" (Sowetan: Friday, 17 August 2012), Ms Vera suggests that IFP President Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi’s "old age" is "eroding his memory" when it comes to the ANC’s People’s War of the 1980s and 1990s that plunged KwaZulu Natal into anarchy. According to Ms Vera, Prince Buthelezi’s party "did most of the killing".
Beyond her offensive statement about Prince Buthelezi’s age, Ms Vera is wrong to embrace the stale propaganda that the IFP has a history of violence. 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.
Dr Jeffrey states that the ANC was the only organisation to benefit from the 15 000 political killings that took place in the early 1990s, after all major apartheid laws had been repealed, for it used these to stigmatise De Klerk and the IFP, and stampede negotiators into giving it what Joe Slovo called “a famous victory” in negotiations.
Dr Jeffrey adds that, against this background, it is not surprising that most of the violence was directed against Inkatha, which already had a million members in KwaZulu/Natal and on the Reef when the People's War began and so posed the greatest obstacle to the ANC's determination to dominate a post-apartheid South Africa. The police were correct in their analysis that “the ANC was waging an aggressive war” against the IFP “by military means” and that the IFP was “disadvantaged in its resistance” because it “lacked the quantity and sophistication of the weaponry available to the ANC”.
So, in fact Buthelezi’s memory is just fine.