IFP president Mangosuthu Buthelezi has condemned the ANC and President Jacob Zuma for “rewriting” history.
Buthelezi has also criticised the awarding of National Orders of the Baobab, Gold, to Frank Dutton and, posthumously, to Wilson Magadla, the two policemen who relentlessly investigated the Trust Feed Massacre of December 1988.
Buthelezi said the Order of the Baobab should have been bestowed on Dr Anthea Jeffrey for exposing the ANC’s strategy, revealed in a research paper titled “People’s War”, which saw thousands slaughtered.
Jeffrey, a writer, is a special research consultant to the SA Institute of Race Relations.
Eleven people, mostly United Democratic Front members, died in the Trust Feed Massacre when New Hanover police, under the command of Brian Mitchell, stormed a house and fired on community members holding a vigil.
In 1990, Dutton and Magadla finally exposed the apartheid government’s “third force”, a collusion by the IFP and the apartheid security forces and their participation in the Trust Feed Massacre.
However, last week a vexed Buthelezi was having none of it, insisting that Magadla especially was tainted in that he was an ANC member as far back as the 1960s.
“Lwandle Magadla, who passed away last year, began clandestine work for the ANC in the ’60s, as a courier. By the early ’90s, his extensive contacts in the intelligence community enabled him to warn ANC and UDF cadres of imminent attacks, which saved Jacob Zuma’s life,” said Buthelezi.
Buthelezi acknowledged that by 1991, Magadla, then a warrant officer with the SA Police, and Captain Dutton had uncovered evidence that New Hanover station commander Mitchell had organised the Trust Feed Massacre.
However, he was still not satisfied that Magadla was a legitimate recipient of the national order. To prove this, he said that when Magadla retired as a warrant officer he became the ANC head of intelligence in KwaZulu-Natal.
“After liberation, Magadla became the first provincial head of the National Intelligence Agency and, in 1996, he was appointed to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as chief of special investigations,” he said.
Buthelezi said his party disputed his appointment, “just as we disputed the appointment of Archbishop (Desmond) Tutu to chair the TRC, based on the fact that he was a former patron of the UDF and was aligned with the ANC”.
Buthelezi said that when Magadla died last year, his daughter revealed that Zuma and the suspended national police commissioner, General Bheki Cele, had often asked for his advice.
“After the Trust Feed Massacre saga, Dutton’s unit was disbanded. Professor Mary de Haas describes how she, Professor Paulus Zulu and Lwandle Magadla worked ‘behind the scenes through a variety of contacts – political and legal – to include Dutton in the Goldstone investigations’.”
“She wrote: ‘We were successful, and the provincial investigative arm of the commission under Major Dutton was established in September 1992, comprising mainly top-notch black African detectives hand-picked by Magadla.”
Buthelezi also complained that the ANC has excluded the IFP from its centennial activities, saying it was “discrediting the role of the IFP in the liberation struggle”.
He said the IFP’s continued presence in the political landscape was a reminder of the ANC’s deviation into violence.
“When I first read the ANC’s concept document on the centenary, I warned my colleagues we were about to see the most profound rewrite of history imaginable,” he said.
“By now, the ANC’s revitalised anti-Buthelezi stance is becoming clear to observers, so much so that jokes were made about me at the Zuma wedding last weekend,” he said.
“But there is no humour in what the ANC is doing. Abandoning reconciliation with the IFP does not serve the best interests of South Africa.”