A controversial history textbook has IFP members hot under the collar and has resulted in two protest marches being scheduled for KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday.

The party claims the book, In Search of History, currently used by Grade 12 history pupils at some schools, is "destroying the legacy" of IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi and should be scrapped.

In a statement released by the party, national organiser Alfred Mncwango said the book "tells blatant lies and deliberately distorts facts about the role of the IFP".

"We cannot allow our children to be poisoned with this tissue of abominable propaganda and the deliberate twisting of history to distort who did what, when and where," Mncwango said.

He said schools should not be "propaganda incubators where pupils are brainwashed".


However, education spokesperson Lunga Ngqengelele said the controversial book is not a mandatory textbook.

"The book in question is not a prescribed book but is actually additional material that is being used by some schools."

Ngqengelele said Buthelezi met with education minister Naledi Pandor in 2007 regarding the content of the book and the allegations were subsequently investigated.

"I'm not sure when the outcome of these investigations will be available," Ngqengelele said.

National Teachers' Union expressed concern over the accuracy of history textbooks, but wished to remain neutral regarding the IFP's protest.

"It is very important that history is written as it was and that no one adds 'spices' to flavour the content," spokesperson Musa Gumede said.

South African Democratic Teachers' Union provincial secretary, Sipho "KK" Nkosi, said: "We agree with the protest action only if the textbooks are containing factual inaccuracies.

"We hope this is what the protest is about, because we are not aware of the material right now."

The marches will take place from 10am on Wednesday in Port Shepstone and Empangeni, where a memorandum will be handed to representatives of the education department by the party.