ANC, IFP feud is 'historical'

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

IFP spokesman Ben Skosana yesterday joined the row over the ANC's statement to campaign in Nongoma.

Skosana, pictured, says comments by ANC president Jacob Zuma that the party will campaign in every square inch of South Africa, referring to Nongoma, were strange and troubling.

Skosana said Zuma was aware that the feud between the ANC and IFP was much "deeper and complex than media commentators and political analysts cared to admit".

Zuma had said he hoped the IFP would restrain its supporters when the ANC returned to Nongoma to campaign.

But Skosana believes that had Zuma made that wish (free campaigning) a priority, what happened at Nongoma would have been prevented.

He said the feud between the parties did not originate from election campaigns, but was historical, political, economic and even cultural.

Skosana pointed out that the wishes of the late ANC stalwart Cleopas Nsibande to see reconciliation between the ANC and IFP had not materialised.

He said President Kgalema Motlanthe had reiterated Nsibande's wish during Nsibande's funeral.

"History has also taught us that in this particular feud, there have been some interest groups who wanted the animosity between these organisations to continue in order to serve selfish interests".

Human Rights Commission spokesman Vincent Moaga said there had been no formal discussions between the two parties over the matter.

However, the commission believed that there was a need to put the issue on the table for discussion.

Moaga said HRC chairman Jody Kollapen met the IEC's chief electoral officer Pansy Tlakula on Friday.

"There has been engagement between the two bodies (ANC and IFP) before.

"But we are very much concerned about the latest development," Moaga said.