Buthelezi and his glass house

2011-01-29 00:00

REGARDLESS of how many times history repeats itself, those who hear about past events, or even those who witnessed them, never learn from them.

Not in politics. I do not think history repeats itself as such, but rather similar acts take place and what repeats itself is people's stupidity. A fool can be described as someone who consistently executes the same methodology but expects different results each time.

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) has finally got rid of the "rotten apple" in the form of Zanele Magwaza-Msibi. What a pity. Well, that is what you get when you have several autocratic yet primitive old men who live for their selfish ends and their fragile and cheap egos.

The party has seemingly made an art of self-destruction, all in the name of outdated and out-of-touch values that masquerade as culture and ethics.

What is a pity is that the state that this party is in could have been prevented a long time ago, before it got to where it is, and this could have been done by one person only, its long-time president and founder Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

I am not sure what is worse, Buthelezi not bringing an end to this madness when it was in its infancy, or his lapdogs* agreeing to every word and not challenging a thing he said. If one did not know better, one would think that Buthelezi wants to take the party with him to the grave.

This reminds me of a time when he queried how some people within the IFP could claim that "Inkatha is theirs", to paraphrase him, and he sprang to defend his statement like a hen protecting its chicks by saying no one owns it. As opposed to being part of the solution, he has been part of the problem.

Magwaza-Msibi was meant to compete for the IFP presidency with Musa Zondi, who I have been told is being eyed by the Anglican Church to be a bishop. If he leaves, then what was all the fuss about, or was it that a woman cannot lead a "man's party"?

While the IFP was wrong in purging her, "VZ", as she is popularly known, should not have jumped ship. She should have gone to the disciplinary meeting and let them push her out. In that way she would have had more of a reason to fight, rather than being seen as someone who wanted to leave anyway, as is revealed by the fact that the new party was registered a long time ago. It was premeditated.

Everything Buthelezi accused the ANC of doing has happened in the IFP.

The ANC had internal squabbles, so did the IFP. President Jacob Zuma's supporters within the ANC and outside of it formed the Friends of JZ in his support. Magwaza-Msibi's supporters formed the Friends of "VZ". ANC members formed Cope following infighting in the ANC. We are seeing IFP members defect to Magwaza-Msibi's new National Freedom Party.

Lesson: Do not throw stones if you live in glass houses.

* Lapdogs = Albert Mncwango, Blessed Gwala, Lionel Mtshali and other suck-ups.

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