IFP snubs peace ceremony

2010-11-05 00:00

THE Inkatha Freedom Party has snubbed a reconciliation ceremony, organised by “regiments” in the Vulindlela area, aimed at burying the violent past between the party and its rival, the ANC, which claimed hundreds of lives at the height of political violence in the province.

The ceremony, aimed at ensuring lasting peace between community members who have lost their loved ones through political violence, will be held over two days — tomorrow and Sunday — at the Eshowe Stadium in Taylor’s Halt. The event will also feature a cleansing ceremony for the community.

The idea for the ceremony emanated in 2003 from a group of men in the Vulindlela area who are known as Umbimbi Cultural Organisation.

The organisation aims to foster peaceful and cordial relations among men in the area.

Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini, President Jacob Zuma, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize, members of the KZN Legislature and local councillors are expected to attend the ceremony.

The IFP said in a statement yesterday that it has instructed its members through its national council not to attend.

The party noted that its disagreements with the ANC have not been resolved because the ruling party is reluctant to make concessions.

The IFP national council said it has resolved:

• To expose the initiative for what it is — an electioneering gimmick aimed at portraying the ruling party as an arbiter of peace and

• To urge all IFP mayors and party structures not to participate in the event.

A spokesperson for Umbimbi Cultural Organisation, Fanosi Dlamini, said they had approached their amakhosi about fostering peaceful and cordial relations between “regiments” of Vulindlela.

Their aim is to prevent the community from returning to its violent ways.

Dlamini said his organisation’s main aim is to ensure that generations to come benefit from development because in the area halls, roads and schools are built, but are destroyed and fingers are pointed at either the IFP or ANC.

There will be prayers and a cleansing, which will be conducted as a Baptist Nazareth “Shembe” Church ritual. Traditional healers will burn incense and livestock will be slaughtered.

Dlamini said Mkhize has offered counselling sessions for victims of the violence.

Mkhize’s spokesperson, Ndabe Sibiya, said the provincial government is committed to ensuring that assistance is given to people who ask for help in their efforts at reconciliation.

“As the province we can only prosper through reconciliation and partnerships,” he said.

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