April 26, 2005

The IFP welcomed the Premier’s decision to establish a Commission of Enquiry on Political Violence in KwaZulu-Natal in February. “But, two months down the line, the IFP notes with disappointment that the Commission has not materialised in deed,” said Dr Lionel Mtshali who leads the IFP Caucus in the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Parliament.

“The IFP applauded the bold and uncompromising stand adopted by Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi in his response to the President’s State of the Nation Address. Our leader’s contribution to the debate, which has since become public, placed the subject of all forms of violence on top of the list of priorities to be addressed by government.

“Prince Buthelezi’s letter to Deputy President Zuma requesting the appointment of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into Political Violence in KwaZulu-Natal culminated in President Mbeki’s directive to Premier Ndebele to act expeditiously and establish such a judiciary commission in terms of the KwaZulu-Natal Commissions Act of 1999.

“Since then, the Premier approached all the other political parties for the terms of reference for this Commission. The IFP duly complied. This was the last time we heard of Ndebele’s Commission.

“The IFP has, for many years, been the lone voice in its demands for justice for the killings of the 400 IFP leaders and the 20 000 civilians at Richmond and elsewhere in the province at the height of the political violence that destabilised KwaZulu-Natal.

“Sadly, the truth and reconciliation process did not provide answers to the crucial questions. To this day, we do not know who killed and maimed our people. It is the sad truth that the criminal justice system has failed the victims of political violence in this province.”

Contact: Dr Lionel Mtshali, 083 256 4902