Buthelezi may have lost battle but will win war

CANAAN Mdletshe's article "I'm not a tool to be used to split amakhosi says Buthelezi" (May 25), fails to illuminate the fact that Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi's decision not to stand for re-election as the chairperson of the KwaZulu-Natal House of Traditional Leaders represented a hollow victory for the ANC.

CANAAN Mdletshe's article "I'm not a tool to be used to split amakhosi says Buthelezi" (May 25), fails to illuminate the fact that Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi's decision not to stand for re-election as the chairperson of the KwaZulu-Natal House of Traditional Leaders represented a hollow victory for the ANC.

It is also a travesty to link the prince's decision to withdraw his nomination with his political role as IFP leader.

Of the eight amakhosi who were elected to the new executive on Friday, six were supporters of Buthelezi. There were only four before. Moreover, two of Buthelezi's supporters were nominated to represent KwaZulu-Natal in the National House of Traditional Leaders.

The real politic is that Buthelezi may have conceded this dirtiest and most underhand of battles, but, ultimately, he will win the war.

Buthelezi has dedicated his entire life to the preservation of traditional leaders. He has challenged the old colonial and later apartheid attitudes on the subject. However, it is the democratically elected government that has imposed some of the serious constraints on amakhosi.

It appears that the ANC has not heeded the tragic historical lessons of various countries in Africa where ideologically-driven party political ideologues parading as democrats either attempted to smash or actually eradicated traditional leaderships with huge and destructive social consequences.

Anyone who knows Buthelezi will know that he will not rest until this trend is reversed in South Africa and the existing constraints are eased and our communities reap the benefits of a thriving institution of traditional leadership.

Rev Musa Zondi, IFP Secretary

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