E. Cape king backs VZ

2010-11-23 00:00

THE Inkatha Freedom Party has criticised abaThembu king Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo for “meddling in the internal political matters of the IFP”, after he spoke publicly about his support for the party’s national chairperson, Zanele Magwaza-Msibi, at the weekend.

The Eastern Cape king, who is a clan nephew of former South African president Nelson Mandela, is reported to have warned the IFP to leave Magwaza-Msibi alone and let her be leader of the party.

A senior traditional leader, who asked not to be named, said the abaThembu king is “100% behind Magwaza-Msibi” and believes that she has been unfairly treated by a party she has worked so hard for.

The monarch paid Magwaza-Msibi a courtesy visit at her home in Newcastle on Saturday. He was accompanied by eight traditional leaders of his nation.

Magwaza-Msibi is currently embroiled in a leadership dispute with party president Mangosuthu Buthelezi, who is also a prince and a senior traditional leader in the Zulu nation and very close to its king, Goodwill Zwelithini.

Reverend Musa Zondi, the general secretary of the IFP yesterday told The Witness that Dalindyebo’s actions have appalled the party.

Zondi, who is said to be preferred by Buthelezi to take over the reins of the party when he retires, said the king should stop meddling in matters he “knows nothing about”.

“This does not even deserve comment.

“He is acting beneath his dignity by getting involved in matters he knows little about.

“He says he is an ANC member, so we don’t understand what he wants in IFP matters,” Zondi said.

Meanwhile, Magwaza-Msibi told The Witness the king himself had asked to visit her and support her during her difficulties.

She said she had been honoured by the king’s visit and promised to return it after the “whole saga” was over.

“I value the support from traditional leadership; I and the king of abaThembu have respect for each other,” Magwaza-Msibi said.

She said her relationship with the king started about two years ago when she visited the Eastern Cape to recruit members for the IFP.

“When I asked people around, they said it was not normal that a king would visit an ordinary person — even my husband was so surprised — and I value the support of His Majesty during this difficult time of my life,” Magwaza-Msibi said

She added that she does not want to talk about her political challenges.

She has taken the IFP to court after a fallout between her and the party’s top leadership.

The case is being heard in the high court in Pietermaritzburg amid tight security.

The king could not be reached for comment yesterday.

His spokesperson, Nkosi Zanengqele Dalasile, confirmed the king had visited Magwaza-Msibi, but declined to comment further.

“The king visited Magwaza-Msibi to support her as she is facing challenges in her party … that is all I can say,” he said.

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