Canaan Mdletshe and Mhlaba Memela

Canaan Mdletshe and Mhlaba Memela

IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi, pictured, has called an urgent meeting with amakhosi in Ulundi today.

They will discuss the dilemma he faces after being given an ultimatum by the provincial cabinet to become full-time chairman of the provincial House of Traditional Leaders.

KwaZulu-Natal local government and traditional affairs MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu said at last week's departmental budget presentation that the posts of chairman and deputy chairman of the house would become full-time positions from June.

Buthelezi, a member of parliament and provincial and Zululand district chairman of the house, has rejected the move.

Buthelezi said: "The ANC wants to push me completely out of politics."

He said if he continued as chairman, he would have to resign as MP.

"I received a letter from Mabuyakhulu's office demanding that I make a decision," Buthelezi said. "As a result I have called an urgent meeting with all amakhosi today. I was elected by amakhosi and they will make the final decision.

"The ANC in the province wants to push me out and they are using this as a weapon to fight me. Mabuyakhulu seems excited that they finally have something to chase me out with."

IFP national chairman Zanele Magwaza-Msibi also hit out at Mabuyakhulu, saying there had been no consultation with amakhosi.

But the MEC said the decision was taken after consulting the National House of Traditional Leaders and other provinces that have made the positions permanent. Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape and North West will follow suit.

Bonginkosi Khuzwayo, head of language research development, said the move was positive.

"Full-time office will bring back dignity to amakhosi. But this province is problematic because the chairman is active in politics."