ANC Highlights Its Embarrassing Track Record on Traditional Leadership

Feb 12, 2024 | Press Releases

The bizarre conduct and untruthful utterances of the ANC’s Secretary General, Mr Fikile Mbalula, have become so pronounced of late that even elders in the ANC have expressed concern. His latest tirade, claiming that the ANC is the only Party that has done anything for traditional leaders, is truly embarrassing for the ANC.

In a misguided attempt at electioneering, Mr Mbalula stressed that the matter of support for traditional leaders should be above politics. In the same breath, he went politicking, alleging that the ANC has rescued traditional leaders from the IFP.

Let us therefore consider the facts.

From the very start, during constitutional negotiations towards democracy, the IFP insisted that the Zulu monarch and the institution of Ubukhosi should be recognised and have a role in a democratic South Africa. The ANC, on the other hand, refused to even allow the King a seat at the negotiating table.

The IFP forced Parliament to reconvene for one day to include the recognition of the King in the Interim Constitution. The ANC then reneged on its written commitment to convene international mediation after the elections, to address matters of the Zulu Kingdom.

The IFP’s Founder, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, extracted a commitment from a Cabinet Committee, led by then Deputy President Jacob Zuma, to amend Chapters 7 and 12 of the final Constitution to protect the role, powers and functions of traditional leaders. The ANC reneged on that promise, and gave all the roles, powers and functions of traditional leaders to municipal councillors.

The IFP pushed for years for the role, powers and functions of traditional leaders to be defined in legislation. The ANC responded by barring the majority of traditional leaders from attending municipal council meetings, and refusing them any voting rights in council.

The IFP has consistently placed traditional leadership at the centre of its local governance strategy. The ANC has used traditional leaders to (in its own words) “make further inroads in rural areas.”

The IFP’s Founder created the Ingonyama Trust to keep the land of the Zulu Kingdom under the custodianship of the King, administered by traditional leaders. The ANC has called for the Ingonyama Trust to be scrapped, so that an ANC-led Government can own the land instead.

That is quite the track-record, Mr Mbalula.

Thirty years into democracy, traditional leaders still do not enjoy the support and respect they deserve from the ANC. This is clearly nothing to boast about.

Mr Mbalula should heed the advice of his elders that sometimes it’s better to keep quiet.

Contact: Mkhuleko Hlengwa, MP
IFP National Spokesperson
071 111-0539

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