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TRC Final Report

Page Number (Original) 338

Paragraph Numbers 1 to 12

Volume 6

Section 3

Chapter 3

Subsection 1

Volume SIX Section THREE Chapter T H R E E

The Inkatha Freedom Party


1. The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) expressed reservations about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (the Commission) process from the outset. In his submission to the Commission, the President of the IFP Dr Mangosuthu G Buthelezi said that he believed that it would ‘neither reveal the truth, nor [would it] bring about the reconciliation we so desperately need in our land’. He went on to say:

I have decided to come here because we cannot in all conscience remain silent when no effort is made by this Commission to question who has killed 420 of the IFP’s leaders and murdered thousands of its supporters. These serial killings are a crime against humanity and demand answers. (IFP Submission, 6 September 1996, p10)

2. Although the IFP appeared before the Commission, the party did not officially cooperate with either the Human Rights Violations Committee or the Amnesty Committee. When he appeared before the Commission, Dr Buthelezi used the opportunity to argue why members and supporters of his party had been drawn into acts of political violence. He told the Commission:

On no occasion has the Inkatha Freedom Party’s leadership ever made any decision anywhere at any time to use violence for political purposes … My own deep convictions that violence is evil and must not be used for political purpose and despite the Inkatha Freedom Party’s constant vigil to keep violence out of Inkatha Freedom Party politics, I know that Inkatha Freedom Party members and supporters have been drawn into violence. I say that I am sorry to South Africa for this because, although I have not orchestrated one single act of violence against one single victim of the political violence that has cost us many lives, as the Leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party, I know that the buck stops right in front of me. (IFP Submission, 6 September 1996, p12)

3. The IFP expressed the view that the original source of the violent conflict in the then Natal and Transvaal lay in the adoption of differing strategies to liberating the country. These, the IFP claimed, dated from an historic London meeting in 1979 between the then Inkatha National Cultural Liberation Movement (Inkatha) and the African National Congress (ANC) in exile. The ANC, the IFP noted, chose to embark on a course of armed struggle aimed at destroying all forms of authority – including the homeland government of KwaZulu, the structures of traditional leadership through which local government was administered and the IFP itself. This culminated in the ANC’s campaign to render South Africa ungovernable. This, in the IFP’s view, was the root cause of the violence.

4. The Commission is of another view entirely. Evidence before its Committees and documents in its possession have shown that the IFP participated in states p o n sored violence and acted as a surrogate for the state against the ANC and its allies. It also sought and received training and arms from the security forces which assisted it in forming death squads. Furthermore, the evidence shows that members of the IFP and KwaZulu Police leadership knew of and participated in the planning of the violence and has no reason or justification in doubting or claiming ignorance of its causes.

5. Several officials of the IFP and the KwaZulu Police were implicated in hearings b e fore the Amnesty Committee. These persons either denied all charges made against them or failed to respond to these allegations, despite the fact that they could potentially lead to their being prosecuted by the Directorate of Public Prosecutions.

6 . In 1996, the ANC and the IFP instituted a peace process led by a national ten-a-side committee1 7 0 This was subsequently expanded to include grassroots structures in KwaZulu-Natal. This process has been regarded as the main contributing factor in the decline of political violence in the province. In the interests of consolidating the peace process, the national leadership of the ANC and IFP has had extensive discussions about the granting of a special amnesty to those that did not appear before the Commission in the interests of consolidating the peace process. There has, however, been little public discussion about the nature of the amnesty to be granted or the process envisaged.

170 Helen Suzman Foundation, Briefing 14, Interview with S’bu Ndebele,

7. The IFP’s policy of non-engagement in the amnesty process adversely affected the numbers of applications received from IFP officials and supporters.

8 The incidents for which applications were received took place between 1987 and 1994 when the conflict between Inkatha and the UDF (and later the IFP and the ANC) raged in urban and rural areas of KwaZulu/Natal1 7 1; Mpumalanga, KwaZulu near Pinetown, and the ANC-aligned communities and IFP-controlled hostels in the Trans v a a l .

9. Some of the applicants were in the service of the South African Police (SAP), the South African Defence Force (SADF) or the KwaZulu Police (KZP) at the time that they committed the offence/s and alleged that these bodies had colluded in incidents either by acts of commission or omission. Prior to the democratic elections in 1994, applicants applied for amnesty in conjunction with members of right-wing groups such as the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) who w e re opposed to the ANC and its alliance partners.

10. All the applicants from the IFP were male. However, a few applicants implicated individual women in their human rights violations.

11. Many IFP applicants had been either convicted of the offences in question and gaoled, or had been implicated in investigations and anticipated prosecution.

12. A total of 109 applications were received from IFP members and supporters in the following categories:

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