IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi with Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini at a thanksgiving service at the Durban Exhibition Centre, which was the first of three events that will be held this month to celebrate Buthelezi’s 90th birthday. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency/ANA

Durban - The IFP NEC has noted with grave concern the article "Buthelezi to ANC: If you want me to have a peaceful death, renew my membership" by Independent Media political journalist Bongani Hans, wherein he reports that Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP wants his ANC membership restored.  

The article alleges that “Buthelezi said if the ANC wanted him to have a humble and peaceful death, his (ANC) membership should be renewed.”

The NEC dismisses this claim because it’s designed to sow confusion within the rank and file membership of the IFP, in particular, and among South Africans in general.

Importantly, the main issue that was at the heart of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi’s message, as raised on Sunday at the thanksgiving service to mark his 90th birthday, was the long-standing issue of reconciliation between the IFP and the ANC.

The rift, which has existed since 1979 between the IFP and the ANC, is well-documented and since the release of Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners from prison in 1990, serious attempts for meaningful reconciliation have been pursued by the IFP in the face of a non-committal ANC.

Therefore, Prince Buthelezi raised in seriousness this outstanding matter of reconciliation between the IFP and ANC to correct the record of history and the prevailing narratives of propaganda which have been the hallmark of our discourse post-1994.

Reconciliation between the IFP and the ANC is necessary for the restoration of a conducive environment for politicking between the two liberation movements.

The fact that Prince Buthelezi was a member of the ANC is a matter of public record which is well-documented and is not up for debate.

In this regard, the ANC as the architect of the intense vilification against Prince Buthelezi owes it to posterity to clear the name of Prince Buthelezi; and this in no way suggests that the prince wants his membership of the ANC reinstated because, after all, Prince Buthelezi never left the ANC, it was the ANC that left him.

The IFP supports Prince Buthelezi in his efforts to place the reconciliation matter on the agenda yet again.

The IFP remains committed to lasting reconciliation between the two parties. We call on the ANC to meet us halfway and bring the reconciliation agenda to a logical conclusion.