IFP and ANC ‘must make peace'

2008-04-27 00:00

It is time for KwaZulu-Natal to seal the peace between the two main political parties in the province, the ANC and the IFP.

This was the message from Premier S’bu Ndebele, who delivered the keynote address at the Freedom Day celebrations at the Macambini sports grounds outside Mandini on the north coast yesterday.

"We do not need any unfinished business in this province. Peace does not only mean an absence of violence. Let us consolidate the peace we have and have an assembly where we can seal that peace," Ndebele said.

But while Ndebele was preaching peace and reconciliation, the opposite was happening on the stage next to the podium.

IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi was seen scolding Local Government and Traditional Affairs MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu, who had just left the stage after introducing Ndebele.

Wagging a finger, Buthelezi could be heard saying that Mabuyakhulu is rude. "Yini lena obuyisho wena uyedelela [What is it that you were saying, you are very rude]," a fuming Buthelezi said.

Mabuyakhulu had earlier said that the present ANC-led government has made great strides towards restoring the dignity of traditional leaders in the province and lambasted IFP for saying that the government is undermining traditional leaders.

Buthelezi and Mabuyakhulu have been at loggerheads since the latter announced that the position of the chairman of the KZN house of traditional leaders is to be made full time as from June this year.

Buthelezi currently holds the position and is also a member of Parliament. This means that he will have to relinquish one of the positions before June.

Buthelezi had earlier also refused to shake hands with another ANC member, Agriculture and Environmental Affairs MEC Mtholephi Mthimkhulu.

According to Mthimkhulu, Buthelezi said: "I cannot shake hands with a person who goes around insulting me".

"I asked him to say where and when did I insult him," Mthimkhulu said, adding that Buthelezi’s behaviour was embarrassing. "It is very embarrassing when a senior leader behaves in this manner," Mthimkhulu said.

Last week, during a sitting of the Legislature, Mthimkhulu named Buthelezi as one of the beneficiaries of the Agriculture Department’s controversial Nguni cattle revitalisation programme.

The function was attended by over 10 000 people, including senior government officials, mayors and amakhosi.


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