27 May 2013
In today's edition of Sowetan, an article by
Mr Mandla Zulu alleges that "former IFP-aligned self-protection
unit members are undergoing secret military training in KwaZulu
Natal". The IFP has no knowledge of this.
While we are aware that there are people
identifying themselves as former self-protection unit members,
we want to make clear that they are in no way affiliated to the
IFP. They are not members of the IFP, nor does the IFP sanction
For the sake of clarity, the historical
identity of the former Self-Protection Unit of the KwaZulu
Government must be highlighted. It was not, as Mr Mandla Zulu
claims, one of the "former guerrilla forces". The Unit consisted
of 400 VIP protectors assigned to protect the Chief Minister of
KwaZulu, members of his Cabinet, and government buildings, based
on a threat analysis and numerous assassination attempts.
The initial training of these protectors was
indeed carried out by Mr Phillip Powell, in a legal and fully
transparent process. When the KwaZulu Government became part of
the Government of National Unity in 1994, the Unit was
There has never been any discussion between
the President of the IFP and President Zuma on integrating
former members of the Unit into the Defence Force, and no future
meetings are scheduled in this regard.
If people are indeed being recruited for
secret military training camps, it is being done without the
knowledge, involvement or approval of the IFP. We therefore urge
anyone who is approached by these so-called "commanders" to
report it to the police.
The IFP is aware that ANC provincial leader,
Mr Bheki Ntuli, has attempted to assist people claiming to be
former self-protection unit members, to find temporary work with
the KwaZulu Natal MEC for Safety and Security, Mr Willies
The IFP, however, has not involved itself in
any way with the claims or objectives of these people.
Mr Mandla Zulu, who has previously been
demonstrably hostile towards the IFP, has acted with gross
negligence in writing a story with no basis in fact. Statements
allegedly made by former IFP members were not checked, neither
were the historical facts, nor the truth of the present
By strategically placing the IFP at the centre
of this story, in blatant disregard of the facts and the truth,
Mr Zulu has done enormous damage to our Party. There is no doubt
that this is part of a propaganda tactic as we approach a
Questions should be raised as to why a
journalist is working so hard to defame an opposition party at
this crucial juncture.
The IFP reserves the right to take legal
Mr Blessed Gwala, Leader of the
Official Opposition in the KwaZulu Natal, on 078 290 5842.