National orders entrench ANC story, says IFP

2012-04-26 00:00

INKATHA Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi yesterday warned the ANC against abandoning reconciliation with his party, saying it was not in the best interest of the country.

He was apparently discomfited by the continued exclusion of IFP-alligned people in the government’s national orders recipient list.

Every year on Freedom Day the Presidency gives National Orders to individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the country. It is a moment aimed at uniting South Africans around a shared sense of dignity and pride.

But Buthelezi said:“Monday’s announcement of the 2012 National Orders nominees left no room for doubt that the ANC wants to use this year’s ceremony as another opportunity to further the centenial agenda.”

He said the continued presence of the IFP on the political landscape was a reminder of the ANC’s deviation into violence. “We hinder the sanctified image the ANC wants to portray.”

“… On Friday, through the National Orders awards ceremony, the ANC will further entrench the propaganda that the violence that rocked South Africa in the years before liberation was perpetrated by the apartheid government and the IFP. The implicit message is that the ANC was just a victim.”

He said the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report, though not balanced, did find that “… the ANC was responsible for killing, assaults and attacks on political opponents, including members of the IFP, Pan Africanist Congress, the Azanian People’s Organisation and the South African Police”.

Also, the ruling party had contributed “to a spiral of violence in the country through the creation and arming of SDUs [self-defence units]”.

“That is not something we remember on Freedom Day, or any other day,” said Buthelezi.

He quoted from an ANC press statement dated October 5, 1992, which read: “The IFP will serve South Africans best if it contributes towards the creation of a climate that will lead to the resolution of differences between the two parties.”

Twenty years later, Buthelezi said, he was sending the very same message back to Luthuli House and the Union Buildings.

He said the awarding of the Order of Maphungubwe to Chief Albert Luthuli for “leading a militant peaceful struggle” was an oxymoron which exposed the ANC’s personal conflict of wanting to portray Africa’s first Nobel Peace Prize winner as supportive of its “deviation into an armed struggle”.

Spokesperson for the Presidency Mac Maharaj denied any there had been partisan consideration in the selection of recipients of National Orders, saying the government merely looked at heroism or contributions of South Africans across the political divide.

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