A very good riddance to IFP

THE demise of the IFP and its president Mangosuthu Buthelezi is a victory for democracy and defeat for modernisation in African political movements.

THE demise of the IFP and its president Mangosuthu Buthelezi is a victory for democracy and defeat for modernisation in African political movements.

For years the IFP has been an extended arm of the apartheid state to crush resistance in KwaZulu-Natal. We all remember the KwaMakhutha and Ngoye massacres. The IFP was also assisted by the former SAP in the Pietermaritzburg seven-day war and conflicts in Hammersdale and Boipatong.

There are many factors pointing to the inevitable decline of the IFP. In modern societies, a leader should not overstay his invitation to lead.

That is what is common between Buthelezi and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.

The new voting generation has abandoned the IFP and Zanu-PF. Buthelezi should have long passed the baton to Ben Ngubane or Musa Zondi.

With Jacob Zuma as ANC presidential candidate, the Zulu nation felt that a Zulu must be the president.

Zuma manipulated the ethnic sentiments and IFP supporters overwhelmingly voted for him. Even Thabo Mbeki backers such as Sbu Ndebele, Mike Mabuyakhulu, Sipho Gcabashe and Hloni Zondi and Mtholephi Mthimkulu felt obliged to support Zuma.

Buthelezi was also scared to challenge Zuma on moral issues which is the weakest side of the ANC president. Zuma saw the space and repositioned himself as more Zulu than Buthelezi by taking two more wives.

The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal assumed the role of both a modern and African traditional party. IFP-aligned business shifted to ANC as it controlled the province and municipalities of eThekwini, Ugu, Hibiscus, Msunduzi, Umgungundlovu and Richards Bay. Amakhosi, like business, changed allegiance.

Mfanafuthi Gumbi, Richards Bay

X