ANC goes to IFP stronghold

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

The ANC-led KwaZulu-Natal government will take parliament to the IFP-led Abaqulusi district in Vryheid despite the tense political climate there.

Willies Mchunu, speaker of the provincial legislature, said yesterday they were aware that some within the IFP were against the move, but this would not stop them. He said he had received the blessing of IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi for the event.

The last time the provincial parliament was taken to an IFP stronghold in Msinga, IFP councillors and mayors stormed out, claiming they were not consulted. They accused the ANC of using the event to score political points.

This time Mchunu says he is positive "nothing sinister will happen".

"We will go there because people have written to us asking us to visit their district and we will do so," said Mchunu.

He said he had consulted Zululand district mayor Zanele Magwaza-Msibi, as well as IFP leader Buthelezi.

"I had a meeting with Magwaza-Msibi in August to formally brief her of our programme of taking the legislature to the people of Zululand. She was very appreciative of our initiative and offered her full support," Mchunu said.

Will the political climate in the Zululand region, which is an IFP stronghold, allow the programme of 'Taking Parliament to the People'?

The big question will be answered on Monday when the provincial legislature invade the troubled Abaqulusi district in Vryheid.

Leader of the IFP in the legislature, Lionel Mtshali, has dismissed the campaign as "a waste of money and ANC political agenda".

Mchunu said Buthelezi, as chairman of the Zululand district house of traditional leaders, said he will encourage other amakhosi to attend even though he personally would not be able to make it.