Parties meet for ‘talks about talks’

2011-08-23 10:55

Teams from the National Freedom Party (NFP) and IFP are set to meet in Durban this afternoon to begin talks aimed at ending political killings in the province.

But neither Zanele Magwaza-Msibi nor Mangosuthu Buthelezi will attend this meeting, described by one insider as “talks about talks’’.

The meeting will involve four leaders from each of the parties in a bid to prevent further outbreaks of violence, which have claimed 14 lives since the launch of the NFP earlier this year.

The party was born out of internal conflict in the IFP, which saw its national chairperson, Zanele Magwaza-Msibi, resign after a breakdown in relations between her and her former mentor, IFP president Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

The peace meeting was first mooted by Buthelezi and Magwaza-Msibi after the killings started to gain momentum in various parts of the province including Zululand, Durban and Greytown.

The leaders are expected to meet face to face later in the process.

 Today’s meeting is a closed one and the media is barred from attending, with the parties committing to issuing a joint communique tomorrow.

The party presidents are expected to join the talks at a later stage.

Buthelezi has in public speeches indicated that he favours a process involving joint rallies by himself and Magwaza-Msibi, an approach he had unsuccessfully attempted to force through during similar talks with the ANC in the early 1990s.

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