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Mary Papayya and Canaan Mdletshe
The IFP says it has no intention of reconsidering its rejection of President Jacob Zuma's offer to party officials for two deputy ministerial posts.
IFP general secretary Musa Zondi said the offer, made last week, was rejected on the basis that it "did not clarify" the role of its leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi.
The IFP said yesterday the offer was made telephonically by Zuma to Buthelezi ahead of the weekend's cabinet announcement.
"I can confirm that we were offered two deputy minister posts by President Zuma," said Zondi. "Our leader advised the president that it was up to the party to decide. We discussed the matter at the IFP's national executive committee meeting and rejected the offer."
He said the offer was rejected on the basis that a more "sincere and senior" offer should have been made to the IFP leader.
"We did not accept it because it did not make sense that our leader could not be included in the government but that two junior officials from the party could be offered positions as deputy ministers instead. If the ANC was sincere, it would have clarified the role of Buthelezi."
He said the IFP would have preferred that Buthelezi be offered a "senior ministerial position".
Despite the rejection of the deal, Zondi did not rule out ongoing "peace talks" with the ruling party.
He said for now the IFP was looking at "rebuilding" its support and gearing up for the 2011 and 2014 elections.