The IFP (Inkatha Freedom Party) has come out to openly say that while it would “listen to courtship” from the ANC for coalition governments in municipalities, it will not work with the ruling party.
Addressing the media in Durban yesterday following the party’s national executive committee meeting held on Saturday, Velenkosini Hlabisa, the president of the IFP, said voters rejected the ANC at the polls and they don’t want to bring them back via the back door.
Hlabisa was emphatic their values would be compromised if they work with the ANC, a party he accused of being dishonest in the past.
The past he was apparently referring to is the period between 1994 and 2004 when the IFP, as part of the national unity project, were compelled to have ANC MECs in its KwaZulu-Natal cabinet. The period was marked by open tensions between IFP premiers and ANC MECs who were accused of running a parallel government.
“Let me be upfront, where we will govern as a leading party we will not enter into a coalition with the ANC, because they have not been honest with us in the past. They have let down the people of South Africa and the voters expressed themselves clearly against the ANC,” Hlabisa said.
IFP President, Velenkosini Hlabisa explains why they will not form coalition governments in KwaZulu-Natal municipalities. Video: Sihle Mavuso/IOL Politics
Listing some of the reasons why they would not work with the ANC, Hlabisa said their relationship is frosty and the ruling party in the province added salt to the wound by renaming the Abaqulusi region (Zululand) to Mzala Nxumalo.
Nxumalo is a nemesis of the founder of the IFP, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, and he wrote the book titled Gatsha, chief with a double agenda. Buthelezi and the IFP claim the book was a piece of propaganda aimed at discrediting him.
“The national council yesterday sat and took a firm decision that the municipalities where we will be leading, we would not get into co-operation with the ANC. For these reasons: the history of the IFP and the ANC, specifically in KwaZulu-Natal is not good, and during the election campaign many utterances have been said by the ANC to the IFP.
PHOTO: In black and white, the IFP says the first business of the day upon officially taking over municipalities will be conducting an audit of all contracts and appointments. @IOL pic.twitter.com/fORkmffY17— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) November 7, 2021
“We need time for the ANC to attend and correct. We have many outstanding issues, we have the issue of Mzala Nxumalo in the Zululand district which the … (ANC) KwaZulu-Natal leadership have flatly refused to correct the naming of Zululand with Mzala Nxumalo,” Hlabisa said.
On forming a coalition with the ANC, Hlabisa said while they would not work with the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal, that was not the case in other provinces like Gauteng where the IFP is in coalition with the ANC in the City of Johannesburg.
Hlabisa said that was because the circumstances elsewhere are not the same as the circumstances in KwaZulu-Natal.