/ 15 September 1995

Inkatha’s secret German war chest

Concerns have been raised that German funding is being used for IFP paramilitary purposes, report Paul Stober, Marion Edmonds, Eddie Koch and Ann Eveleth

Evidence has emerged that the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) plans to rebuild its paramilitary and intelligence capabilities — using German funds earmarked for development — ahead of a possible showdown with central government over a constitution for Kwazulu-Natal.

And, in the week that Chancellor Helmut Kohl made a state visit to South Africa, the Mail & Guardian has learned that there is serious concern in President Nelson Mandela’s office about the use of German funds in the province.

Sources in Mandela’s office say the president has an “ongoing concern” about German development funds to the IFP being diverted for intelligence and other paramilitary purposes in KwaZulu-Natal.

But it is known that there is serious concern in the Cabinet’s inner circle that the IFP may be trying to rebuild its policing and military capabilities ahead of a possible showdown with the central government over a federal constitution for

Despite assurances from the German chancellor that his government does not interfere in South Africa’s domestic affairs, it has emerged that the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the taxpayer-financed funding agency of Kohl’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), has sunk tens of millions of rand into Inkatha over the last decade.

At least two intelligence sources have told the M&G this week that two German citizens currently in South Africa are involved in trying to devise ways of using money intended for develpment projects in Kwazulu-Natal to bankroll a new Inkatha intelligence unit. The intelligence unit is intended to replace the once- powerful Bureau of Security and Intelligence (BSI) which was disbanded together with the KwaZulu police.

It is understood that Joe Mathews, Deputy Minister of Safety and Security and a high-ranking Inkatha official, and IFP Senator Phillip Powell, will play leading roles in the new intelligence unit and that IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi has been briefed about the plan.

Also named as a player is a man called Stan Armstrong, who is said to have played a key role in the BSI before the KwaZulu homeland was disbanded. Armstrong served as an administrative chief in IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi’s office at the time.

Armstrong was named last year by Rian van Rensburg — a former military officer who claims to have been involved in the training of paramilitary units for the IFP — as the link man between his clandestine work and the party’s leadership.

There are fears in the president’s office that the proposed new intelligence agency is part of a more extensive set of contacts between the Inkatha Freedom Party and conservative organisations in Germany — a major source of support for the IFP, especially since access to state revenue was cut off with the disbandment of the KwaZulu homeland. Presidential spokesman Parks Mankahlana refused to comment on the reports.

Large sums of money have been donated to Inkatha since 1983 through the CDU’s Konrad Adenauer Foundation. The Foundation receives German taxpayers’ money to fund political and development programmes in the Third World. It is not allowed to finance political parties as such and the money has been paid to the Inkatha Institute.

It emerged from the Inkathagate scandal that the Institute was the channel used by the South African security police for secret government funding of the IFP. Major Louis Botha, the security police officer who acted as the link man with Inkatha, has close family ties with Germany. Botha was arrested some three months ago and charged in connection with the murder of 13 ANC supporters in 1987. This month, Botha asked for his bail conditions to be lifted so that he could attend the “50th wedding anniversary of his father-in-law” in Germany.

The Inkatha Institute closed down after the Inkathagate scandal and has been replaced by the Institute for Federal Democracy. The Konrad Adenauer Foundation now donates some R3,5-million a year to the new institute. Sources close to the Adenauer Foundation say it is currently channelling a minimum of R9-million a year into political and development projects in KwaZulu-Natal.

The head of the new-look institute is Rama Naidu, former head of the Konrad Adenauer office in Cape Town. Naidu insists his organisation is not a think-tank for Inkatha and that it offers its services to a wide range of political organisations.

Ingor Scholz, director of Konrad Adenauer’s Africa desk, said he had been disappointed by past media reports linking foundation money to “fomenting bloodshed in KwaZulu-Natal”. Scholz stressed that the foundation was now providing constitutional support to all political parties in South Africa which requested such assistance.

But it is understood that there has recently been some concern among consultants hired by the the foundation over the possibility of its funds being “misspent” in the volatile province.

The history of German links with Inkatha has reinforced concern about foregn involvement in moves to create a new intelligence agency linked to the IFP.

The developments come amid reports of a hardline draft constitution drawn up by Inkatha’s national leadership that grants extensive regional powers to KwaZulu- Natal. The draft IFP document provides for a right to declare provincial states of emergency and set up a provincial army. It also places strong controls on the power of the national army to operate in the province.

Konrad Adenauer Foundation funds, funnelled through the Institute for Federal Democracy, have been used to pay for a number of German consultants to help the IFP draft its constitutional proposals. The latest draft constitution is, however, believed to have been produced by the IFP in the face of criticism from the German