We are facing a grave crisis
which affects the whole of our province. This crisis highlights
the explosive nature of unresolved issues relating to the Zulu
Monarchy as well as the ANC's arrogance.
Mr Xaba, Chairman of the Ad-hoc
Constitutional Affairs Committee has ruled to shortcut public
participation in the constitution-drafting process and prevented
a high-ranking group of Princes and members of the Royal Family
to make representation, and be heard, in respect of the drafting
of a constitution for our province.
On March 18 it was agreed that
members of the Royal family would be afforded an opportunity to
be heard. When they could not attend the April 4 hearing,
because the Chairman afforded them less than 72 hours notice,
they asked for a rescheduling. They expected then to speak at
the April 6 hearing, in compliance with the decision of the
Ad-hoc Constitutional Affairs Committee taken at Richards Bay on
March 24. However, after His Majesty spoke, they were prevented
from making their presentation by a ruling of the Chairman who
indicated that since the King has spoken, no one was to add or
detract from what he had said.
This procedural issue highlights
a substantive issue of the great difference between the ANC's
approach, which intends to merely accommodate His Majesty, and
the IFP approach, which intends to provide for the Monarchy and
the Kingdom. We wish to have recognition of a Kingdom which is
not such only in name, but recognizes and protects all its
constituting components, including amakhosi and the Traditional
Prime Minister. The unwillingness of the ANC to even afford
those advocating this notion an opportunity to be heard shows
how deep and wide the divide is between the two positions.
The gravity of this situation is
compounded by reliable reports that His Majesty's presentation
and the inputs of certain members of the Royal House supporting
him, were actually formulated by the ministerial advisor of a
national Minister. This advisor has no connection with our
Province and has a long-standing track record of hostility
towards traditional leadership.
The IFP does not intend to be
party to betraying the Zulu Nation and will no longer engage in
a process which is manipulated by the ANC to reach its goals.
A constitution needs to be
adopted by a two-thirds majority and any decision relating to
the process of constitution-making must require the same type of
consensus. In respect of ordinary legislation a Committee
Chairman, or the Speaker, who are elected by and represent the
interests of a simple majority, may very well make decisions on
how to proceed in deliberating on a law. However, in respect of
a constitution it becomes increasingly clear that those who
control the process, determine its outcome.
We experienced a similar issue in
respect of the handling of the draft report submitted by the
panel of legal experts, where we had to struggle to receive the
opportunity for representations and submissions to be made to
the panel of experts, in spite of the experts themselves having
clearly stated that their job ought to be based on written
submissions and oral arguments.
For this reason, the IFP will
henceforth suspend its participation in the
constitution-drafting process until agreement is reached on how
such process should proceed, and the principle is entrenched
that all processed decisions must require the same majority
necessary for the adoption of a constitution.
Contact: Dr Lionel Mtshali, 083
Leader of the IFP Caucus in the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial