/ 19 September 2017

IFP accuses the ANC of using the NFP to fight a proxy war against it

We visit the key voting province of KwaZulu-Natal to discover how successful the ANC
ANC KwaZulu-Natal spokesperson Mafika Mndebele said a coalition with the EFF and the National Freedom Party (NFP) would help the ANC regain control of a number of municipalities it had lost to the IFP-led coalition.

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) has accused the ANC of using the National Freedom Party (NFP) to fight a proxy war against it, saying the killing which took place since 2011 were an extension of the ANC-IFP conflict of the 1980s and 1990s.

IFP national chairperson Blessed Gwala made these allegations in a submission to the Moerane Commission into political killings in the province, questioning why KwaZulu-Natal Premier Willies Mchunu had chosen to deal only with more recent issues of internal ANC violence.

“The political violence that still continues today – and that the Commission is tasked with investigating – involves the very same protagonists. The inclusion of the NFP does not signify a new and different conflict that can be studied independent of anything that happened prior to the genesis of the NFP. Indeed, the conflict between the NFP and IFP is simply a continuation of the conflict between the ANC and the IFP, for the birth of the NFP was funded and strategised by the ANC,” Gwala said.

Gwala said that the extremely low conviction rate for killings of IFP leaders — either through a lack of political will or ineffective policing — creating a culture of impunity.

“The IFP believes that many murders and attempted murders would never have taken place except for the belief on the part of the perpetrators that they were politically protected from punishment,” Gwala said.

“So the question must be asked why a commission of inquiry has only been established now, and why its investigations have been limited to the period after 2011,” he said.

Gwala said which much of the current violence was within the ANC and NFP, “the murder of IFP members and leaders is still continuing and there are still very few convictions.”

Gwala listed the names of IFP members killed, saying that while some were the result of criminal activity, incompetence by the police was worsening the situation.

Gwala said an investigation into the role of police weapons in the killings, and the role of police officers in covering them up, was urgently needed.

The IFP wanted all the province’s unsolved political killings re-investigated as this would “undoubtedly shed light of the underlying causes for the continuation of political violence in KwaZulu-Natal.”

He said the IFP understood the ANC-on-ANC killings to be due to conflicts over positions and business contracts. Cadre deployment exacerbated the situation, as did corruption and maladministration in municipalities where they were deployed.

On Wednesday, former Premier and ANC chairperson Senzo Mchunu will address the commission, with the South African Communist Party (SACP) following suit on Thursday. The provincial ANC leadership, which has yet to make a presentation, will do so during a session between October 10 and October 20.