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This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

24 Jul 1990: Zondi, Musa

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(Notes from interview)

In the past members of the (IFP) Youth Brigade were frustrated because there were no signs of South Africa moving towards peaceful negotiations. As believers in peace and non-violence they were derided by the ANC as being naïve. The ANC would say no liberation would be achieved without the armed struggle.

Inkatha would not allow Buthelezi to talk to the government without adherence to its preconditions because he operates within the parameters of Inkatha's strategy and policy. Inkatha and the government formed a committee to look at obstacles which were not different than what the ANC has been talking about. This was in the last days of P W Botha. Talks between the government and the ANC were what we recommended because there were some things that were just between the ANC and the government for example, we don't have refugees to talk about.

We are opposed to a Namibia type elected Constituent Assembly because it would question the sovereignty of the country. The government is in power and can stay in power because it has not been toppled. The armed struggle is futile. We are not opposed to a non-elected Constituent Assembly for the drafting of a constitution though we would prefer to call it a Constitutional Conference. As an ideal, Inkatha is for one man one vote in a unitary state. But we will consider other options. Even though KwaZulu is a homeland, according to present legislation, we are all for the dismemberment of homelands but there will be no dismemberment of KwaZulu as such which existed as a sovereign state long before the existence of the Republic of South Africa.

The violence in Natal has nothing to do with policy it is a power struggle. Chief Buthelezi is a threat to the ANC as long as he has an independent power base. All other leaders have been coerced into supporting the ANC. The ANC do not want leaders who will not do the ANC's bidding.

It is possible that a component of the problem is tribal/ethnic identity. However, I think it is incidental. People here in KwaZulu start thinking of Zulus being undermined when they hear calls by the ANC for the disbanding of KwaZulu, not the Transkei.

The violence here follows a pattern of black on black violence throughout the country, going back to the Transvaal in 1985 with the necklacings. You were either for or against the liberation struggle as perceived by the comrades. In 1985, the ANC began annihilating other organisations with the last one being Inkatha. We are now caught up in a cycle of revenge killing.  These things can go on for a century and a half. The Zulus are known historically to be fighters. Centuries old feuds are still going on in the district of Msinga, for example.

An ANC government would result in worse violence, like in Angola and Mozambique. What we need in SA is a government of national unity.

Buthelezi and Mandela can't get together because the ANC won't allow it. The ANC has told the world that they are the authentic representatives of the blacks. The existence of Inkatha disproves that.

The ANC/UDF come into our townships with guns to recruit. Our people get scared.

There are some townships where the ANC say they prefer KwaZulu police. So it is not accurate to say that KwaZulu police are an extension of Inkatha.

The violence has the potential to sabotage the peace process. It is a power struggle between the ANC/UDF and Inkatha. There is also AZAPO versus ANC/UDF. What is remarkable is that the ANC is always a common factor in the violence.

Inkatha would accept a unitary state even if the ANC were in power but no government should use its machinery against Inkatha, or any other party, to suppress.

We must give the government the benefit of the doubt. Some people in the government sincerely want to solve the problem. We reluctantly accept the SA military in KwaZulu in the hope that it will help reduce the violence.

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.