Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi has denied claims made by former KwaZulu-Natal premier Senxo Mchunu that the party was behind politically motivated violence in the province that occured in the 1980s and '90s, eNCA reported on Thursday. Buthelezi reportedly called Mchunu "ignorant" and blamed the violence on the ANC.
Mchunu told the Moerane Commission of Inquiry, investigating politically motivated violence in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), that the violence could have been avoided had Buthelezi not left the ANC Youth League and "abandoned the liberation movement".
According to TimesLive, Mchunu said: "The fact of the matter is that there was blood and bodies in this province. The only way we could‚ perhaps‚ have avoided that would have been Inkosi Buthelezi admitting that‚ at one stage‚ having been part of the ANC -- at some point he was a member of the Youth League of the ANC -- perhaps admitting that he abandoned the revolutionary liberation movement for some reasons."
Buthelezi told eNCA that the ANC had tried on numerous occasions to convince the IFP to abandon its "nonviolent stance" and when it refused, the ANC launched a "campaign of vilification against me and Inkatha that would last several decades".
"I founded the IFP on the same principles. Inkatha was intended to reignite political mobilisation in our country following the banning of the ANC. But when the ANC chose to abandon the founding principles of nonviolence and to engage in an armed struggle, Inkatha could not agree... "If I couldn't be persuaded to abandon the high moral ground, they were determined to destroy my reputation...
"The violence didn't start because I left the ANC Youth League as Mr Mchunu so ignorantly claims. It was a deliberate campaign to secure political hegemony for the ANC after liberation," he reportedly said.