MEDIA STATEMENT BY THE
INKATHA FREEDOM PARTY

 


STATEMENT ON CLARIFICATION OF REMARKS 
PERTAINING TO DR GAVIN WOODS

BY PRINCE MANGOSUTHU BUTHELEZI
PRESIDENT OF THE INKATHA FREEDOM PARTY

August 15, 2005

I would like to clarify remarks that I made pertaining to Dr Gavin Woods in a letter to the Witness published on Saturday and in an interview to the Sunday Times.

The point I wished to make was that Dr Woods disability prevents him from participating in our National Council where Party policy and decision-making is taken. According to our party's constitution, non-attendance would normally disqualify people from parliament. An exception is, of course, made for Dr Woods for the reasons I have stated.

I must however refute any perception that has arisen that Dr Woods is a "token appointment" because he is physically challenged. Dr Woods is both a gifted public representative and a courageous man with a first-class intellect. I also believe he is one of the finest parliamentarians of our time. We all have a huge debt to pay to Dr Woods for his work on SCOPA and much else besides.

If my remarks have caused offence to disabled people, including Dr Woods, I unreservedly apologise. I would be the last person to knowingly cause offence to people who are physically challenged.

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