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Mangosuthu Buthelezi, believes MEC for local government, housing and traditional affairs Mike Mabuyakhulu, has a vendetta against him.
Buthelezi said this at a special sitting of the House of Traditional Leaders, which he chairs, in Ulundi yesterday.
The IFP leader said Mabuyakhulu had "felt belittled" when Buthelezi gave him a sheep as a gift. He had also given a sheep to head of department (HOD), Gabi Gumbi-Masilela.
"He told me (before the day of his budget speech last week) he felt slighted, that he was on the same level as the head of a department," said Buthelezi.
Buthelezi said he was disappointed that Mabuyakhulu would make an issue of this as it was merely a "gift" and a gesture of ubuntu in isiZulu culture, "ukuhlabisa".
The MEC and the HOD were at the official opening of the house two weeks ago when King Goodwill Zwelithini and Buthelezi were presented with a cow each.
"This, I must confess, left me flummoxed and I wondered how much the honourable minister knows about the Zulu custom of ukuhlabisa - slaughtering for one's guest," said Buthelezi.
"I pointed out that the Queen Mother, Indlunkulu MaZungu, the widow of King Bhekuzulu, was given a sheep.
"Prince Reginald ka Maga ngeni ka Dinuzulu was also given a sheep," said Buthelezi.
Mabuyakhulu was not given an opportunity to deliver his speech at the function.
Deputy chairman of the House of Traditional Leaders, Mpiyezintombi Mzimela, also expressed his misgivings about Mabuyakhulu's stance on making his and Buthelezi's positions permanent.
"There is no one who can force me to leave my position. Amakhosi elected us to these positions," Mzimela said.