ANC deputy president Jacob Zuma is giving the Inkatha Freedom Party sleepless nights.
The party has suddenly become a big supporter of President Thabo Mbeki in his battle with Zuma, but political analyst Aubrey Matshiqi said the IFP's sudden concern for the dignity of the office of the president might be self-serving.
The IFP Youth Brigade attacked Zuma and his supporters in the ANC for booing Mbeki during the reburial of Moses Mabhida in Pietermaritzburg last weekend.
The brigade's tirade follows IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi saying that verbal attacks on Mbeki by Zuma supporters were despicable.
Matshiqi said the IFP's condemnation should be commended, but not taken at face value.
"Buthelezi's own leadership could also be subjected to similar treatment so he is sending a strong warning," said Matshiqi.
Another concern of the party could be the popularity of Zuma among IFP members, who are largely Zulu speakers, in KwaZulu-Natal.
"There are IFP members who support Zuma simply because he is a Zulu. The Zuluness transcends party political lines," said Matshiqi.
After Zuma's rape acquittal in May IFP members reportedly celebrated the outcome in several hostels, particularly in Ekurhuleni.