IFP accuses ANC of fuelling dissent
Johannesburg - Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi on Saturday lashed out at the ANC, accusing the ruling party of deliberately fuelling dissent in his party.
"There has been a serious turn of events in the IFP which has caused me to request the national executive committee to call an extended national council," Buthelezi said in his prepared remarks at the national council meeting held at Ulundi in KwaZulu-Natal.
Referring to recent calls by certain factions within the IFP for him to step down as party leader, Buthelezi said the ANC was giving financial support to those factions.
"We know that there are people within the IFP and people from outside our party who are on the ANC's payroll to stir up trouble for the party.
"This is not just a conflict between IFP members. It is engineered by members of the ANC who are using money to bribe and corrupt."
Buthelezi said he had been waiting for an opportunity to resolve "the unfinished business between the ANC and the IFP" through talks with President Jacob Zuma.
He was referring to politically inspired clashes between the two parties in the eighties and nineties before South Africa's first democratic elections. Thousands of people died in the conflict.
Buthelezi said he met with Zuma in July and had made himself available "every day, at any time" to conclude "this serious unfinished business".
He said, however, that the ANC's involvement in the problems experienced within the IFP did not bode well for reconciliation between them.
"There has been a string of incidents that leave no room for the benefit of the doubt. There is no longer any doubt that certain people in the ANC are fomenting and even instigating the ructions in our party."
In his speech, Buthelezi mentioned a number of incidents which indicated to him that the ANC was trying to meddle in IFP affairs.
One was remarks made by Human Settlement Minister Tokyo Sexwale about the IFP national chair Zanele Magwasa-Msibi.
Buthelezi said the IFP had been accused of being sexist.
"Suddenly the ructions in the party were put down to our supposed fear of having a woman lead the party. This is both ridiculous and defamatory."
He said he had also been attacked in his capacity as IFP leader.
The ANC Youth League in KwaZulu-Natal had accused Buthelezi of "dirty tricks" and had called him "a dictator".
"Words cannot begin to describe how utterly outrageous the ANC's interference had become."
"And now we have seen enough to convince us that certain people at the highest level of the ANC are involved in creating and fomenting these ructions."
He dared people within the IFP to come forward and openly speak their minds.
"Have the guts to say to our faces what they are saying behind our backs. Let us gauge where people really stand, so the truth may prevail."
Buthelezi said if his party contested the 2011 local government elections in its present weakened state, it may very well be wiped off the political landscape altogether.
He asked the extended national council to deliberate on the problems and to engage in "serene debate" in finding solutions.