IFP cries foul over new 'ANC' amakhosi leader
THE IFP has slammed the election of ANC-aligned Inkosi Landokwakhe Ntshangase as new leader of the Zululand House of Traditional Leaders.
Ntshangase defeated party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi - who was once leader of the KwaZulu-Natal House of Traditional Leaders and the Zululand leader - by 13 votes to three during the elections held on Tuesday.
Earlier this year Buthelezi tried to stop elections of traditional councils, but his case was dismissed in court with costs.
IFP deputy national spokesman Joshua Mazibuko said: "While the results might appear, on the surface, to be an expression of a fair democratic process, we know a lot of behind-the-scenes gerrymandering took place prior to the elections to ensure that a particular side won the day.
"In fact, the adulteration of democracy through the politics of the chequebook is a widespread phenomenon in the South African body politic, about which even some ANC leaders have complained in relation to their internal processes."
Mazibuko said they did not doubt the influence of the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa) on the results.
"As is known, Contralesa is an ANC project," he said. "Since the ANC controls vast financial resources, it is not far-fetched to conclude that Contralesa-aligned traditional leaders had financial and other forms of support for the purpose of unseating amakhosi known not to be aligned to it.
"Without doubt Prince Buthelezi was the number one target among the amakhosi who had to be unseated."
The ANC described the IFP's allegations as laughable. Provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala said: "It is really puzzling to the ANC that the IFP can make such unfounded allegations over a process that was strictly not political and which was presided over by an independent institution.
"The ANC strongly believes that the IFP must bring forward evidence or just shut up. The IFP must accept that their leader has become irrelevant and is being rejected by all the structures of society."
Department of Traditional Affairs spokesman Lennox Mabaso refused to be "drawn into dignifying preposterous allegations that cannot be substantiated by facts".