buthelezi ready for peace talks

IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi has rejected President Jacob Zuma's call for a merger with the ANC but says his party is willing to talk about "reconciliation".

Buthelezi says previous attempts to achieve unity have been a "flop".

Zuma told delegates at his party's provincial general council on Saturday that he would meet Buthelezi to discuss the possibility of the IFP "coming back home" to the ANC.

Buthelezi says the parties have worked together in a coalition government at national level and in KwaZulu-Natal but the experiment in the province has been a "dismal failure".

"So at both these levels reconciliation did not take place between the ANC and the IFP," the IFP president says.

"It is no use talking about reconciliation in abstract terms.

"These were efforts which were meant to bring the two parties together and to consolidate reconciliation between us. It was a flop."

He also cites acrimonious exchanges between members of the ANC and the IFP.

"The latest being the utterances Julius Malema (ANC youth leader) made about me in the election campaign.

"President Zuma apologised to me about Malema's utterances, but Malema never apologised to me."