IFP leader Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi. Picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)

Durban - Despite taking part in all the country's elections, the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) said not one of them have been free and fair.

Responding to questions about whether he shares the sentiments raised by smaller parties that there were irregularities and the recently concluded elections were not managed properly, the party's leader, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, said when he raised this matter in the run-up to 1994, he was seen as a "spoiler".

Buthelezi was addressing the media in Durban on Monday after the party's dramatic comeback both at the provincial and national level. He said it is a known matter that several issues, including the removal of the ink, were raised by their party agents and voters.

"Actually we share many sentiments with the smaller parties, I have always been, from 1994, saying this and I was called a spoiler. I have always been candid about the fact that we have never really had free and fair elections in South Africa. Even though we didn't fare badly, I still say it was not a free and fair election," he said.

Historically, the IFP agreed at the eleventh hour to participate in the 1994 elections as it, among other issues, wanted to have international meditators to resolve the impasses between itself and the Codesa team.

Asked whether he would have considered working with the ANC in KZN if it had failed to secure a majority vote as some pre-election polls suggested the latter would struggle to obtain an outright majority, he said he had "no qualms" with working with the party although the testimony coming out of the Zondo commission is worrying.

"The rot that is coming out of the Zondo commission actually stinks up to God in heaven," he said, adding that they had worked with the ANC in the government of national unity between 1994 and 1999.

Political Bureau