Outgoing Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi has used his final address as party leader to denounce claims that he was instrumental in the pre-1994 black-on-black violence in KwaZulu-Natal that spread to other provinces.
Buthelezi said as a politician, he has been the subject of a propaganda campaign by the African National Congress (ANC) which sought to present him as a violent person.
He has instead accused the ANC of being responsible for the clashes.
Detailing his version of the historic events in the lead-up to the clashes between black people over differences in political affiliation, Buthelezi said it all began when negotiations between the IFP and the ANC broke down in 1979.
He explained that the governing party sought the IFP’s support during its international campaign for sanctions and disinvestment in South Africa as well as the armed struggle.
Buthelezi said his party rejected the ANC’s proposal as they believed it was unworkable.
He said both parties agreed to meet later to hold more discussions but that never happened.
“In June 1980, the secretary general of the ANC issued a scathing attack on me and the ANC launched a campaign against me and Inkatha. They then imposed what they called a people’s war which resulted in the very ugly and painful black-on-black violence.”
He added that his conscience was clear, and he was proud of his role in the fight against apartheid.
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