What should be done?

Our country has entered its Age of Hope - President Thabo Mbeki at the opening of Parliament. © AP.
Our country has entered its Age of Hope - President Thabo Mbeki at the opening of Parliament. © AP.

In discussions between the ANC and IFP in recent years agreements have been jointly made that if implemented would help bring about fraternity between the two parties.

A good start in establishing peace between members of the ANC and IFP would be to implement the agreements already reached.

A crucially important agreement relates to the recognition of the contribution of Inkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi, who worked hand in hand with the ANC in the liberation struggle in the 1970s.

Both parties also agree about the role of the third force in stirring tensions, conflicts and violence between them.

I propose that the top leaders of the ANC and the IFP issue an official statement acknowledging and appreciating the contribution of Buthelezi in the liberation struggle of the country.

Buthelezi should be rehabilitated as a hero of the ANC for the important work he performed when he was still working hand-in-hand with Oliver Tambo.

The ANC's leaders viewed Buthelezi and Inkatha as an asset to the liberation struggle up to 1980. We should be guided by the spirit of reconciliation and love of peace that was in the heart of Walter Sisulu, and which lives in the hearts of Nelson Mandela and Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

Up to the end of the 1970s the old leadership of the ANC considered Inkatha and Buthelezi as an asset to the liberation struggle. ANC people were present at the founding of Inkatha. AWG Champion, for example, and Pixley ka Seme's assistant, the old man Msimang, gave their full support to Inkatha and Buthelezi.

Prisoners on Robben Island from KwaZulu-Natal whose term was ending were told by the old leaders to go back home and join Inkatha. Not a few of the youth who later emerged in the leading circles of the ANC were members of Inkatha Youth Brigade.

Nothing will hurt us if we admit that Buthelezi and Inkatha were assets to the ANC until the quarrel beginning in 1980. The denial of this truth is the main cause of bitterness among IFP members.

In the last election, half the voters in KwaZulu-Natal supported the IFP and half the ANC. The stigmatisation of Buthelezi and Inkatha is therefore the stigmatisation and rejection of half the African people of this province.

You cannot foster fraternity, humanism, unity and genuine peace under such circumstances.

Abraham Lincoln said that "a house divided against itself cannot stand". This province is divided against itself.

Under these circumstances this province will continue to move like a crippled person and will remain spiritually unhealthy. Successful development and good governance of the province will thus ever be unattainable.

In the light of the Steyn Report about the involvement of the white state's military in the violence and murders of African people in KwaZulu-Natal and the Witwatersrand, the leaders of the ANC and IFP should issue a joint statement removing any unjust blame for violence and killings in the 1980s and 1990s from Inkatha and Buthelezi.

I propose a huge reconciliation in KwaZulu-Natal, led by King Zwelithini, at whose side shall be Nelson Mandela, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, President Thabo Mbeki, ANC deputy president Jacob Zuma, Premier Sibusiso Ndebele, deputy chairman of KwaZulu-Natal ANC Zweli Mkhize, the speaker of the KwaZulu-Natal legislature Willis Mchunu, and KwaZulu-Natal Judge President Vuka Shabalala, as well as other provincial, national and regional dignitaries.

The main event will affirm a comprehensive agreement between the ANC and IFP to bury their hostilities and to re-establish true brotherhood between themselves as parties and as human beings.

A traditional ritual should be conducted for the more than 20000 people who died in the civil war in KwaZulu-Natal in the 1980s and 1990s.

All the people of KwaZulu-Natal must be ritually cleansed, because African culture dictates a cleansing ceremony for those who have been involved in unclean, cruel, abnormal and inhuman experiences.

We should also build a public monument inscribed with the names of the victims.