IFP claims plot to kill Buthelezi
The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) on Friday said it has unearthed a plot to assassinate its leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi.
Blessed Gwala, an IFP lawmaker in KwaZulu-Natal province, said security around Buthelezi has been trimmed, a move the party says is intended to expose him to attacks.
Buthelezi served several times as acting president under Nelson Mandela.
“There is a plot to assassinate Dr. Mangosuthu Buthelezi from the higher echelons of the country, including poisoning him,” Gwala told AFP.
He claimed that South African authorities have reduced security apparatus around Buthelezi, leaving him with just two unarmed policemen who do not have a car.
“He has been stripped of his security so that he will vulnerable, so that when attacks come it will be easy to assassinate him,” Gwala said.
“The grand plan is clear: It’s to remove IFP from the political radar so that they will be a unitary state in this country,” he said.
The ANC has rejected the accusations as outlandish.
“We are not a thuggish organisation. We are a respectful organisation who works within the laws of this country. We have no intentions of assassinating anybody,” party spokesman Jackson Mthembu said.
Inkatha and ANC clashed violently in the early 1990s as the edifice of apartheid collapsed.
While tensions have eased, they have continued to be rivals in KwaZulu-Natal, also the home province of President Jacob Zuma.
The province has recently been hit by a rash of political violence.
It accounts for 80% of all political murders in the country in the last three years.
Observers blame the violence on the battle for political power, which is seen as the gateway to easy wealth.