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TRC Final Report

Page Number (Original) 455

Paragraph Numbers 204 to 217

Volume 2

Chapter 5

Subsection 28

1970s: The re-birth of Inkatha and KwaZulu

204 Inkatha had its origins in an organisation called the Native Congress, established in 1928 by the Zulu king of the time, Solomon kaDinizulu. It was later renamed Inkatha ka-Zulu (emblem of the unity of the Zulu nation). By 1933, the organisation was largely inactive due to lack of finance and it remained so until its revival by Chief Buthelezi in 1969. In 1970, the Zululand Territorial Authority (ZTA) was established and Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi was instated as the chief executive officer. In 1972, the ZTA was replaced with the KwaZulu Legislative Assembly, with Chief Buthelezi as the Chief Minister. Buthelezi promised his co-operation to the South African government but almost immediately began calling for more land, powers and recognition for the Zulu nation.

205 In the Inkatha Cultural Liberation Movement, Chief Buthelezi intended to transform Inkatha from a predominantly Zulu cultural organisation into a national liberation movement. He hoped that the revived organisation would fill the vacuum created by the banning of the ANC and the decision by the ANC leadership to leave the country and operate in exile.

206 Politics in KwaZulu in the late 1970s was dominated by the growth of Inkatha and its attempts to consolidate regional power and create political options beyond apartheid for the region. While the South African government placed pressure on homeland leaders to opt for independence, Chief Buthelezi refused to accept independence. In the first few years after the revival of Inkatha, the ANC regarded Chief Buthelezi as an important ally inside the country. He had been a member of the ANC Youth League and when he founded Inkatha, he was known to be an opponent of apartheid. The external mission of the organisation maintained contact with Chief Buthelezi and indeed encouraged their supporters back home to join Inkatha. While organisations in other homeland structures could easily be dismissed as puppets of Pretoria, at the time of its formation and for almost a decade afterwards, this was not said of Inkatha.

1979: The London meeting

207 During the latter part of the 1970s, Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi became vocal in his opposition to protest politics, economic sanctions and the armed struggle being promoted by the ANC in exile. This, together with his calls for investment and a free-market economy and his embracing of constituency politics, won him increasing support from the white business and white community at large. However, it placed him at odds with the ANC's leadership in exile. The leaders of the two parties met in London in October 1979 to discuss their differences. At the London meeting Chief Buthelezi accused the ANC leadership of being hypocritical and of having deserted black South Africans.

208 Chief Buthelezi interpreted the ANC's intentions behind the London meeting to be that they wished Inkatha to become an internal surrogate of the ANC.

209 This was unacceptable to Chief Buthelezi. In its 1996 submission to the Commission, the IFP said the following of the London 1979 meeting: The campaign to render South Africa ungovernable was not directed against the apartheid state. KwaZulu and the IFP in particular have been the targets of ANC destabilisation policies since the 1979 conference failed to persuade the then Inkatha Cultural Liberation Movement to become a surrogate of the ANC.

210 Following the 1979 meeting, Chief Buthelezi faced growing hostility from an increasing number of Zulu-speaking people in Natal and the KwaZulu homeland for his rejection of the ANC's strategies and, in particular, for his decision to participate in the homeland system, to work through the tribal authorities, the KLA and the black urban councils. The two organisations' differing approaches to opposing apartheid laid the basis for the bitter and bloody political conflict that ensued.

The early 1980s: The beginnings of institutionalised violence within Inkatha

211 By April 1980, the national campaign of students against overcrowding in schools, lack of equipment and books, and lack of student representation had spread to schools in KwaMashu, north of Durban. Pupils participating in the KwaMashu school boycott defied Inkatha's calls to return to school, and clashes developed between the pupils and Inkatha members. Chief Buthelezi described the violent action taken by Inkatha members against the boycotting pupils as “discipline” and said that Inkatha was the best instrument to sort out the problems of discipline and the problem of lack of patriotism.

212 The boycotting of classes in KwaMashu continued through May 1980. During May, KwaZulu Minister of Justice, the Reverend Celani J Mthethwa, urged vigilante groups to join the KZP reservists. Also in June 1980, Chief Buthelezi said that he wanted to train an army to keep order, to prevent the destruction of schools and to control riots. He said:

I think it is time for Inkatha to establish training camps where branches and regions are schooled in the employment of anger in an orderly fashion. We need to be able to control riots... I think we need to create well-disciplined and regimented impis in every Inkatha region which can be called out for the protection of that which is so sacred to Inkatha and black South Africa.

213 The Inkatha Committee endorsed this proposal at its meeting in July. In 1981, a paramilitary training camp was established at Emandleni-Matleng, near Ulundi.

214 Chairperson of the Inkatha Youth Brigade, Mr Musa Zondi, said that the camp was “run with a paramilitary approach”. Those trained at the Emandleni-Matleng Camp wore military-style uniforms and were organised into sections, brigades and companies. In his presidential address to the Inkatha Annual General Conference in July 1982, Chief Buthelezi said:

We have the Emandleni-Matleng Camp girding the loins of youth with the resolve of their elders and with the wisdom of ages, to move into the communities and play a devastating role with apartheid's enemies…

215 In his August 1982 address to the Inkatha Youth Brigade, Chief Buthelezi announced the formation of a paramilitary force of young Africans who would “take up the struggle for liberation”.

216 Inkatha's fostering of trained paramilitary groups within Inkatha marked a movement in Inkatha towards the institutionalisation of violence. The provision of paramilitary training to Inkatha youths inevitably led to Inkatha supporters turning to violence and militaristic methods of dealing with their perceived enemies.

217 In 1983, the UDF emerged and adopted a strategy of 'ungovernability', opposing and undermining existing local government structures. The fact that, in Natal and KwaZulu, most of the local authorities were Inkatha-dominated, resulted in Inkatha being identified as the primary target. The Inkatha movement, in particular its leader, Chief Buthelezi, was insulted and ridiculed by UDF supporters. Also during 1983, a number of Durban townships were identified for incorporation into KwaZulu. A large number of residents in these townships opposed incorporation into KwaZulu. Non-Inkatha councillors withdrew from the township local councils as an act of protest and clashes subsequently occurred between those opposing incorporation (primarily UDF-aligned residents’ associations) and those promoting it (Inkatha). Thus it was that the violent clashes between Inkatha and the UDF which came to the fore in 1984 centred on local government in the form of traditional authorities, urban councils or regional councils.

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