News / South Africa / Politics

Siyanda Ndlovu
Digital Journalist
2 minute read
18 Jun 2021
6:07 pm

‘Silenced’ IFP feels left out in tributes to Kenneth Kaunda

Siyanda Ndlovu

'This is surprising. We don’t know whether it is an attempt by the media to silence the voice of Prince Buthelezi,' reads the party's statement.

Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi. Picture: GCIS

In the words of the former president of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, “shame, shame, shame. Shame on you!” members of the media.

That’s likely how the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) is feeling following their scathing statement towards the South African media after the news of the passing of former Zambian leader Kenneth Kaunda.

The party said that it was deeply shocked that the media decided not to publish its tribute statement, issued by its former leader Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, on the passing of Kaunda.

“This is surprising. We don’t know whether it is an attempt by the media to silence the voice of Prince Buthelezi,” reads the statement by party’s KwaZulu-Natal deputy chief whip, Otto Kunene.

“We suspect that the media did not like what was contained in the statement which disproved a certain narrative that the media wants the people of South Africa to believe, that Prince Buthelezi was not held in high esteem by statesmen of the world including Dr Kaunda.”

Kunene goes on to say that Buthelezi’s statement was profound for it revealed among others that “it was Dr Kaunda who advised Prince Buthelezi to form a membership-based organisation which resulted in Inkatha Yenkululeko Yesizwe being formed which was a forerunner to the IFP” as it is known it today.

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The Youth of today and voters of our country deserve to know the condolences passed by Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi to the people of Zambia and to the Kaunda family.

He said the party would forever be grateful to Kaunda for giving its members a political refuge under the banner of the IFP.

“We thought we must register our concerns about this unfortunate omission on the part of the media. Members of the IFP are eternally grateful to the late Dr Kaunda for suggesting to our leader that he forms a membership-based organisation which resulted in us having a political home in Inkatha, which was involved in the struggle for liberation and the IFP which was part of those organisations that gave birth to a democratic South Africa as we have it today,” said Kunene.