Imbali Unit 3 resident Ricardo Ngubo takes a selfie with IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi, who was on the campaign trail at Edendale Mall. (Ian Carbutt, The Witness)
Durban – IFP president Mangosuthu Buthelezi on Tuesday rejected the ANC Women’s League’s claim that he had called for women’s genitals to be searched at voting stations.
The Isolezwe newspaper on Tuesday retracted its report that he had made the remarks.
“The ANC Women’s League in KwaZulu-Natal has chosen to attack us on something we never even said. That is the level of desperation to tarnish the IFP,” Buthelezi said.
The ANCWL claimed Buthelezi called on the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) to search women’s genitals at voting stations to ensure no fraud took place.
“Media reports indicate that Buthelezi made this call for ‘manhandling of women’ when he finalised his party’s electoral campaign in Ulundi at the weekend,” the league said in a statement on Monday.
“While the ANCWL agrees with the sentiment that the elections should be closely monitored, it found Buthelezi’s call going overboard and has far-reaching implications.”
Buthelezi said the Isolezwe misquoted him in a "scurrilous report"
"I said no such thing. But the importance of correcting this lie was far too great for me to leave it unchallenged.”
Buthelezi said he visited Isolezwe with a video of his speech and challenged both the journalist and the editor to point out where he had made such an outlandish statement.
He said the newspaper agreed it was wrong and offered to print a retraction on Tuesday. Buthelezi added that even though an apology would be issued, the damaged had already been done.
“Those who read the article no doubt believe that the IFP has lost its marbles. Whatever the journalist’s agenda in printing a false report, it is clear why the ANC Women’s League jumped at the chance to defame me, without bothering to check the facts.”
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