Buthelezi questions ANC’s ‘sudden praise’ of Ngubane

2010-01-18 00:00

INKATHA Freedom Party President Mangosuthu Buthelezi stirred up a hornets’ nest at the funeral of Inkosi Nyanga Ngubane in KwaZashuke yesterday when he questioned the ANC leaders’ “sudden praise” of Ngubane as a humble, honest man after they had “chased him like a criminal” from the provincial cabinet.

He was referring to the dismissal of Inkosi Ngubane, who was the MEC for Social Development in 2006, by the then premier, Sbu Ndebele.

The funeral was attended by a number of senior ANC leaders including the premier of the province Zweli Mkhize, the Speaker at the legislature Peggy Nkonyeni and the former MEC of the Agriculture Department Mtholempi Mthimkhulu.

He said he had recommended the Inkosi to Ndebele as an appropriate candidate for MEC for Social Development, a post he had held until 2006 when the ANC made a “cruel decision” to dismiss him and other IFP MECs from the provincial cabinet.

“Even though the Inkosi has been hailed for his contribution to the bringing of peace in the province, we remember that he and his colleague, [Blessed] Gwala were chased out of the Provincial Cabinet like criminals.”

He hailed the Inkosi as a distinguished leader who was respectful and served his community with dignity, saying: “The Inkosi was never trained to work for the people, but he was destined for leadership since the day he was born.”

Buthelezi said the Inkosi’s death was an immeasurable loss to the community and even more greatly so to the IFP, “as the Inkosi embodied the beliefs of the Inkatha Freedom Party”.

His words were echoed by Premier Mkhize. He said the Inkosi will be sadly missed by all those who had worked with him in the legislature, as his character was always welcoming and his good temperament always allowed for sound and reasonable negotiation.

In response to Buthelezi’s assertion that the Inkosi was chased out of the cabinet, Mkhize said Ngubane’s removal from the cabinet had nothing to do with him personally “because I know of no one who had a gripe against him, but it was just politics, and in politics there are always situations”.

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