Buthelezi hits at bias in textbook

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi has hit out at the apparent "bias" contained in a new history book for South African schools because it reflects negatively on him and his party.

Buthelezi says the book, In Search of History, written by J Bottaro, P Visser, and N Worden, depicts Buthelezi in a cartoon and allegedly suggests that the IFP was responsible for political violence before the 1994 democratic elections. The book is set to be distributed next year to matric pupils. It is aimed at dealing with apartheid history for the first time in South African schools.

"The book used a cartoon to depict a biased account of the low intensity civil war which claimed the lives of so many IFP supporters in the run-up to our first democratic elections.

"A cartoonist's viewpoint was offered as historic fact and the truth about South Africa's history was simply expunged with a wink and a nod," said Buthelezi.

Addressing the 29th youth brigade conference at Ulundi at the weekend, Buthelezi said the history book "aims to hurt him and dent his image".

He said he recently had a meeting with Education Minister Naledi Pandor to discuss certain changes in the school curriculum which aim to give learners a variety of possible truths without dictating anything absolute.

"I appreciate that Pandor undertook to distribute a letter to schools warning them of the potential bias in the textbook," said Buthelezi.