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Duma Pewa's latest hatchet job titled "Intolerance is the name of the game" (19 February 2011) is truly astounding. In politics, can one expect negative commentary; it comes with the territory. But when political commentary becomes an extraordinary personal attack, one must question the motives and credibility of the journalist.
On an almost weekly basis, Pewa puts a lot of time and effort into defaming the IFP and its leadership. Or, as he calls it, writing "the obituary of the IFP".
This time Pewa argues that IFP leader Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi's utterances in Parliament, about the possible eruption of violence, led to the murder of an NFP member in Escourt. Aside from the illogical leap that the leader of the IFP can make the future happen simply by predicting it, Pewa has the facts wrong. It was not an NFP, but an IFP member who was killed, which renders his argument absurd.
During his reply to the State of the Nation address, the IFP President provided overwhelming evidence that some leaders within the ANC are deeply embroiled in the rift that developed in the IFP. He cautioned the nation that this tension between the ANC and IFP contained the nascent threat of taking us back to a time of violence. This was not an overdramatic, exaggerated warning. He was merely stating the facts. In fact, a number of people had already died as a result of this conflict in KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng. His warning was based on these facts.
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.
Pewa's campaign of disinformation and propaganda against the IFP has regressed to open insults. His suggestion that "(Buthelezi) should be rearing chickens and writing his will" expose Pewa's entrenched prejudice and hatred. There are prominent figures much older than Buthelezi who still play a meaningful role in politics. Rivonia trialist Andrew Mlangeni (84), who served 26 years of a life sentence on Robben Island with former president Nelson Mandela, is a case in point. Mlangeni is still a leading figure in Parliament today.
By his own hand, Pewa has proven that he has no political wisdom or insight, and no aptitude for being an independent commentator. His latest tirade begs the question why a respected paper such as The Witness consistently allows Pewa to spew his anti-Buthelezi venom through its columns. Maybe this is a question for the Press Ombudsman to answer.
REVEREND MUSA ZONDI MP
IFP SECRETARY-GENERAL AND NATIONAL SPOKESPERSON