IFP president Mangosuthu Buthelezi made an impassioned plea to his supporters at the weekend not to vote for ANC president Jacob Zuma merely because he is a Zulu.
Addressing thousands of his supporters at a rally at Ebukhalini sports ground in Nongoma on Saturday, Buthelezi urged them not to use ethnicity when going to polls on April 22.
He said reports that some IFP members would vote for the IFP in the province and for the ANC nationally were of great concern to him.
"I have been concerned at reports that some IFP supporters have encouraged one another to vote IFP at the provincial level and vote for Zuma at the national level.
"I cannot overemphasise that splitting one's ballot paper like this is a disaster. Be in no doubt that a vote for Zuma is a vote for the ANC government.
"If you want an IFP government put your cross next to the IFP on your ballot paper.
"I plead with you not to return to the old politics of ethnicity.
"It is irrelevant if Zuma is a Zulu. In terms of the competition of ideas and policies, ethnicity is irrelevant. It is the policies and ideals we champion which matters," he said.