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ANC responds with outrage to IFP comments on king’s spokesperson

KwaZulu Natal ANC secretary Bheki Mtolo. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo

KwaZulu Natal ANC secretary Bheki Mtolo. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo

Published Jul 3, 2023


Durban — The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has hit back at Zululand District Municipality mayor Thulasizwe Buthelezi who referred to King Misuzulu’s spokesperson Prince Africa Zulu as an ‘ANC project’.

Buthelezi was addressing conflicting statements by Zulu nation Prime Minister Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi and Prince Africa Zulu over the king’s health.

ANC provincial secretary Bheki Mtolo referred to Buthelezi as a ‘wedge driver’. Mtolo said that what was unprecedented was that an IFP statement was on the letterhead of the Zululand District Municipality.

“As the ANC we are of the view that finally the attention of the people of this province has been drawn to the distinct features that define Thulasizwe Buthelezi,” Mtolo said.

He asked who Thulasizwe Buthelezi was.

“Firstly, his statement has unmasked him as a complete wedge driver,” Mtolo said. “Secondly, he is a kind of an individual who operates in shady corners.

“Thirdly, the statement reveals the tendencies of someone who is preoccupied with the exercise of peddling lies and sowing seeds of division,” Mtolo said. “He has an uncontrollable desire to use the Zulu royal family to elevate himself politically above everyone within the IFP.

“He thrives on corridor gossip. He is the source of disunity within the Zulu royal family,” Mtolo said.

He stated for the record that the ANC in KZN, out of respect, had avoided relentless requests for comments from the media regarding the Zulu royal family's internal matters.

“We are still nursing a hope that all issues involving the Zulu royal family that have played out in the public domain will be resolved internally, with political parties keeping a distance,” Mtolo said.

He said that media houses had asked the party to respond to matters involving King Misuzulu and Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

Mtolo said that as a matter of principle, they had exercised maximum restraint.

“We wish to confirm that the ANC tasked the former premier and former MEC for Royal Household Department Dr Zweli Mkhize to play a mediation role,” Mtolo said.

“We identified Dr Zweli Mkhize because he is an elder who has a cordial relationship with Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, Isilo Misuzulu and the departed king, Mdlokombane. Prince Buthelezi can attest to this.”

Mtolo said that Mkhize had been performing such a responsibility with the utmost respect - behind closed doors and without side public commentary.

“We, therefore, reject Thulasizwe Buthelezi's statement with the contempt it deserves,” Mtolo said.

“He is clearly using the monarch and the Zulu royal family as his instruments to achieve political currency.”

Mtolo said that from now on, the ANC offered to work with leaders of society and the people of this province across all lines to ensure unity and social cohesion.

“The monarchy, as an institution recognised by the Constitution, must be protected at all costs from wedge drivers such as Thulasizwe Buthelezi,” he said.

“Instead of using both the monarch and the Zulu royal family to advance his ambition and that of the IFP, Thulasizwe Buthelezi must come clean about maladministration involving more than R240 million.”

Mtolo said that over 112 years of its existence, the ANC had never tried to manipulate or abuse the monarch, the Zulu royal family and the institution of traditional leadership for its short-term political gain. This was despite the fact that King Dinuzulu gave blessings and authorised the formation of the ANC.

In 1912 he was subsequently declared Life Honorary President of the ANC. This is because of the support he gave towards the formation of the organisation.

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