October 26, 2005

The ANC has reneged on yet another long-standing agreement with the IFP regarding the parliamentary positions of Deputy Speaker and Deputy Chair of Committees in KwaZulu-Natal.

“The ANC broke yet another promise given to the people of KwaZulu-Natal when it decided to occupy the Deputy Speaker’s chair by one of its own members and to hand the Deputy Chairmanship of Committees over to Nadeco,” said Dr Lionel Mtshali MPP who leads the IFP caucus in the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Parliament.

The agreement between the two parties dates back to pre-1994. The agreement was part of a broader consensus that sought to promote peace and reconciliation in KwaZulu-Natal following years of political violence.

“The ruling party’s unilateral U-turn on the agreement regarding the Deputy Speaker’s post after the untimely death of Inkosi Hlengwa shows that the ANC was not sincere when it joined the IFP in mourning for the former Deputy Speaker,” said Dr Mtshali.

“The hypocrisy of the ruling party reached a new high when Premier Sibusiso Ndebele recently accused the IFP President, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, of leading a regressive force that seeks to undo the pre-1994 peace and reconciliation settlement in KwaZulu-Natal,” said Dr Mtshali.

The IFP negotiating team approached the Leader of Government Business and deputy leader of the ANC in the province, Dr Zweli Mkhize, with a new nomination for the Deputy Speaker’s post shortly after the death of Inkosi Hlengwa.

“The ruling party responded with the decision to fill the post with its own person. This decision has simply become another link in the long chain of ANC’s broken promises in KwaZulu-Natal,” said Dr Mtshali.

Contact: Dr Lionel Mtshali, 083 256 4902