Buthelezi says Mlaba hates him

Canaan Mdletshe

IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi claims that eThekwini executive mayor Obed Mlaba hates him.

In an interview with Sowetan in Ulundi yesterday, Buthelezi reacted for the first time to the recent changing of the names of streets and buildings in Durban.

He said the proposal that the names of the Mangosuthu Technikon, and of a highway in Durban, be changed was expected.

Buthelezi said: "I am not surprised. Mlaba has never liked me. He and the ANC have hinted about this before, when Mlaba was still on the board of Mangosuthu Technikon."

He said the relationship between the IFP and the ANC in the province was "sour and unhealthy" and "at an-all time low".

Speaking ahead of the Zululand District Municipality budget speech in Ulundi, Buthelezi said the bad relationship was not good for "politics and reconciliation".

He said the political picture in the the province was very different from when the IFP was in power in KwaZulu-Natal.

"When the IFP was in power in the province we invited the ANC to work with us because we wanted to promote peace in the coalition government. But when the ANC took power it decided differently."

He said the issue stretched back to when Narend Singh, a senior IFP member and an MEC, resigned from the government after a sex scandal last year.

His job went to an ANC member and not to then IFP. And when the IFP's Nkosi Mhlabunzima Hlengwa, the deputy speaker of the provincial legislature, died his position was also given to an ANC member.

"Such actions are not good for reconciliation. It is not good for the province," said Buthelezi.

Buthelezi also hit out at Mlaba for the recent changing of the name of the city's 2010 stadium, and the renaming of streets and buildings in the city.

"I knew Moses Mabhida and I do not have a problem with [giving a stadium his name] but I think that if his name replaced King Senzangakhona's name it would be a concern."

Buthelezi said he was waiting for the ANC to choose its presidential candidate with keen interest.

"Whoever is elected will be my president as well," he said.