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IFP slams Mbalula for ‘misguided electioneering’ over traditional leaders

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The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) has slammed the ANC’s secretary-general Fikile Mbalula for his remarks on traditional leaders, claiming that the IFP did not care about them.

Mbalula had recently claimed that his party was the one who looked after the traditional leaders, arguing that the ANC had rescued them from the IFP.

“His latest tirade, claiming that the ANC is the only party that has done anything for traditional leaders, is truly embarrassing for the ANC.

“The IFP pushed for years for the role, powers, and functions of traditional leaders to be defined in legislation,” the IFP said.

In a statement on Monday, the party said of late, Mbalula’s bizarre conduct and untruthful utterances have become so pronounced that even elders in the ANC expressed concern.

The IFP has set the record straight on the issue of prioritising the leaders.

“The IFP has consistently placed traditional leadership at the centre of its local governance strategy,” it said.

“From the very start, during constitutional negotiations towards democracy, the IFP insisted that the Zulu monarch and the institution of Ubukhosi should be recognised and have a role in a democratic South Africa. The ANC, on the other hand, refused to even allow the king a seat at the negotiating table.

“The IFP forced Parliament to reconvene for one day to include the recognition of the king in the Interim Constitution. The ANC then reneged on its written commitment to convene international mediation after the elections, to address matters of the Zulu Kingdom.”

According to the party, their founder, the late Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, extracted a commitment from a cabinet committee, led by then Deputy President Jacob Zuma, to amend Chapters 7 and 12 of the final Constitution to protect the role, powers, and functions of traditional leaders.

Buthelezi created the Ingonyama Trust to keep the land of the Zulu Kingdom under the custodianship of the king, administered by traditional leaders.

“The ANC reneged on that promise, and gave all the roles, powers, and functions of traditional leaders to municipal councillors,” it added.

According to the party, the ANC responded by barring the majority of traditional leaders from attending municipal council meetings and refusing them any voting rights in the council. It stated that the ANC has called for the Ingonyama Trust to be scrapped so that an ANC-led Government can own the land instead.

Furthermore, the IFP said the traditional leaders still do not enjoy the support and respect they deserve from the ANC, 30 years into democracy.

“This is nothing to boast about. Mbalula should heed the advice of his elders that sometimes it’s better to keep quiet,” it said.

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