Buthelezi skips celebrations, says IFP ignored

2012-04-27 18:00

Johannesburg - IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi said he would not attend the Freedom Day celebration in Pretoria on Friday because his party's role in the struggle against apartheid was not recognised.

"We celebrate Freedom Day today as an IFP celebration, because we know without fear of contradiction that the IFP made a significant contribution to the liberation of our country," he said in a speech prepared for delivery.

"So, no, I am not at the Union Buildings today. I am here [at a rally in Ladysmith] remembering the heroes and heroines of the IFP who laid down their lives for the freedom South Africa celebrates."

He said the Union Building celebration would primarily focus on the African National Congress' role in the struggle.

"This year, in particular, as the ANC celebrates the centenary of its founding, there is an explicit agenda to position the ANC in the national psyche as the sole liberator of South Africa," Buthelezi said.

"I only hope that, unlike last year, the President [Jacob Zuma] will not stand by while opposition speakers [at the celebration] are heckled and booed."

He said Zuma unveiled a "Heroes' Arch" in Esikhawini last month commemorating people who were killed in political violence, but did not invite the Inkatha Freedom Party.

"Are we not allowed to remember the past? Let me make it clear that plans are still afoot to destroy the IFP," he said.

During the Freedom Day event in Pretoria, the IFP's Oscar Maseko said 18 years of democracy meant it was now time to tie up "the loose ends of the reconciliation reached".

When Zuma arrived at the celebrations, he was greeted with cheers, whistles and shouting.

Adorned in green and gold, the military band entertained the crowd with music.

People cheered loudly during a fly-past by the SA Air Force, and a 21 round gun salute.

Several military aircraft shot through the sky as a big contingent of photographers tried to capture pictures.

With one hand firmly on his chest, Zuma joined in the singing of the national anthem.

Other dignitaries present at the event were deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile and Tshwane Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa.

  • Andile - 2012-04-27 18:26

    Well to those of us who grew up in KZN (Natal) where the IFP was 'actively' involved during the years of apartheid, we know that the IFP's contribution towards the freedom of this country was killing anti-government people. Having grown up in a township in Durban, I saw what IFP members did to our farthers and brothers. I'm not sure which contribution is he talking about. If you are willing to challenge me, ask me to count for you instances where IFP members killed ANC members. I know for a fact that the IFP was supplied arms and ammunition by the apartheid goverment to kill people who were against the government in areas like KwaMashu, Umlazi, etc. Hence the high number of illegal firearms that are still available in places like eSeveteen (17) in Umlazi. So Mr Buthelezi, you can only fool those of us who know nothing about SA history.

      Tsietsi - 2012-04-27 19:49

      Peter, its a pity that most people who experienced his reign of terror do not have access to this 'platform' so those of us who know and have experienced this may be outnumbered here. But we know and won't keep quiet about it because there's many of you who are not adequately informed on this issue.

      Lwazi Sibiya - 2012-04-27 21:39

      I agree Andile but what pieces me off are jhb people(esp) who believe that IFP only targeted non Zulus when many people from Kzn were killed by Buthelezi men because they were either ANC, PAC or AZAPO

      Burtfred - 2012-04-27 22:27

      Yes Andile, and your beloved ANC were supplied arms by the Soviet Union and China. They also murdered civilians in the name of "justice" or something? Of all the political parties that are still around in SA today, only one cannot be accused of using violence in the name of "freedom". Which party do you think that is, Andile?

  • ncedisa.gongxeka - 2012-04-27 18:33

    What positive role did the IFP play in the struggle, all I have heard are negative stories told by people who worked in the mines, my grandmothers and aunts living in Johannesburg. The stories were mostly about how people were killed by Inkatha working side by side with the apartheid police. Let us start sharing these stories people, what do you remember about Inkatha(IFP).

      Tsietsi - 2012-04-27 19:27

      Ncedisa, at least you have heard stories. I have seen my friends, peers and neighbours being killed by his stupid 'impis'. Let him go and hang. If indeed there is a place called hell, Gatsha is going there and he knows it. He used ethnicity to wreak murderous havoc in this country. Go to Phola Park and hear their stories, then you will agree with me.

      Rodney - 2012-04-27 20:59

      hmm, so it was only the impis who fought, i remember trying to keep anc and ifp apart on more than one occasion when i did military camps. sometimes it was ifp who started it, sometimes it was anc or pac. you want to apportion blame, then be fair, both groups were as guilty as the other. As for Buthelezi not going to the party, sounds like a spoilt child looking for attention to me.

  • howard.komati - 2012-04-27 18:36

    Tht is good cos he knws the trouble his party brought to the people in the township. Hostels were war zones because they maintained their dominance while working closely wth policeman. I cn be angry wth the ANC bt i have no feelings 4 the IFP.

      Mamalo - 2012-04-27 19:46

      Paul I remember very well how my brothers would run to the police stations at night because 'amazulu' were coming. I was young and didn't understand why everyone around the Vaal was so afraid of them. IFP were sellouts, they killed our black brothers who were fighting apartheid.

  • Tim - 2012-04-27 19:12

    Yawn - the IFP are on old-fashioned tribal party with dwindling support. Lets hope for some more meaningful opposition.

  • Mhlonitjhwa Sikhosana - 2012-04-27 19:21

    so what are you( Buthelezi) expecting us to say............. we cant always praise mediocrity, we are adults which means we know what is right for our country..........not just someone who was an Apartheid spy an suddently try to be smart here

      Tony Lapson - 2012-04-27 19:52

      Yet here we are praising mediocrity with an ANC label.

  • WhiteNut - 2012-04-27 19:26

    Mr Buthelezi betrayed his uncle's vision, Mr Pixley ka Isaka Seme who founded the ANC. Was it the matter of personal jealous? Now you want to be recognized?? But to his credit he refused a deal by the Nats(refusing to negotiate without Mandela, effectively the ANC and other banned parties), when they were desperate, to put more pressure on them to release Mandela. But ja power and money corrupt, but at the same time be careful of propagandas

  • Olebogeng - 2012-04-27 19:51

    Buthelezi, ICC have to check your previous records.

  • Tsietsi - 2012-04-27 19:58

    Hi Peter, so why did you delete your reply to my comment? Afraid my response makes more sense, maybe? Just maybe.

  • kasper.mbayi2 - 2012-04-27 21:13

    The problem of IFP leader is that what ever com e with ANC it is wrong to him. He can't admire nothing coming with ANC he is same like other leaders who was ANC members before.

  • Lacrimose - 2012-04-27 21:19

    Shame, poor Boetie Lazy. If he hadn't announced to the press he wasn't attending, no-one would have noticed.

      Grace - 2012-04-28 09:59


  • Zolisa - 2012-04-27 21:48

    I agree with Dr Buthelezi that the Freedom day is now an ANC event not a national event but I do not agree with him that his party fought for freedom.Over the past two decades he has failed to convince me that the IFP did fight against the injustices of the past.

  • lenny001 - 2012-04-28 06:20

    I thought IFP was killing people on Trains and hostels...surely ICC must look at his records i really think he has a case to answer

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