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By Eric Naki

Political Editor


ANC-IFP reconciliation a ‘pipe dream’

Reconciliation was a ploy by Buthelezi ‘to lure the ruling party to seek an apology’.


Reconciliation between the ANC and the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) is a pipe dream – it never was there and it will never be there, says political analyst Zakhele Ndlovu. Ndlovu, a political science lecturer at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, has been lecturing many local and national politicians and has an intimate knowledge of provincial politics.

He said that contrary to belief, the late IFP founder, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, never wanted the two parties to reconcile. Ndlovu’s view comes after it emerged at Buthelezi’s funeral last month that he wanted reconciliation between the two parties.

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But Ndlovu said instead of reconciliation in its true sense, Buthelezi wanted to lure the ANC to come closer so it could apologise for calling him an apartheid sellout.

Not interested in reconciling

The current IFP and ANC leaderships were not interested in reconciling the two parties and their behaviour indicates parties that are drifting far apart from each other, Ndlovu said. Besides, the ANC was losing power especially in KZN and both parties had realised that.

He said IFP president Velenkosini Hlabisa would rather cooperate with the Democratic Alliance (DA) and other opposition parties to defeat the ANC in KwaZulu- Natal as part of their opposition pact. On the other hand, the ANC was working to outdo the IFP in KZN and elsewhere.

“The reconciliation won’t materialise, I think what Buthelezi wanted from the ANC when he talked about reconciliation was more about the ANC apologising to him, not that the two parties will come together and form one party.

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“I don’t think they would like to join forces as the ANC is slowly losing power while the IFP is surging, especially in KwaZulu-Natal,” he added.

Coalition government

Ndlovu also cited the fact that the IFP was already in talks with the DA to form a coalition government which he said was imminent in the province.

“You can see that the IFP is not interested in forming any coalition government with the ANC. “So this talk of the ANC and the IFP uniting, it’s just a pipe dream.

“They don’t see eye-to-eye on a lot of issues.

“I don’t think this is going to happen especially now that Buthelezi is no more. Even if he was still alive, I think all he wanted from the ANC was the need for it to apologise to him for accusing him of being a sellout and for not supporting the struggle.

Joining forces

“Other than that, I don’t think there is any interest in the IFP and ANC joining forces.”

He said that instead of coming together or reconciling, the status quo would remain and a coalition government would emerge between the IFP and the DA or between the ANC and the Economic Freedom Fighters depending on who got the most votes next year.

“The only change you are going to see in KwaZulu-Natal is a coalition government, there will be no more ANC dominance in this province,” said Ndlovu.

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He added that Hlabisa was more anti-ANC because he had no option, he was facing stiff competition in the IFP for his position.

“If he was to work or reconcile with the ANC he will be unpopular in the party because many IFP people do not want to reconcile with the ANC. So he won’t do anything that will make him unpopular with the members of the IFP.”

Attempts to get comment from the IFP and the ANC failed. A call to IFP deputy president Inkosi Mzamo Buthelezi, who was supposed to comment on the matter, was unsuccessful. – ericn@citizen.co.za