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IFP starts peace talks with ANC

Following rising tensions between the ANC and the IFP, the two parties have started peace talks.

The talks were sparked by an incident at the event to commemorate the 110th anniversary of the death of King Dinuzulu kaCetshwayo on 16 March.

At the commemoration, ANC KZN chairperson Siboniso Duma grabbed the microphone from the Zulu traditional prime minister, Reverend Thulasizwe Buthelezi of the IFP, in front of King Misuzulu kaZwelithini.

The microphone-grabbing incident set tongues wagging and sparked political tensions in the province.

The talks were announced at a press conference on Friday in Durban by IFP president Velenkosini Hlabisa.

Hlabisa said the talks will be between three provincial leaders of each party and that the national leadership of both parties will supervise the discussions.

He said the IFP had put forward no preconditions for the talks.

“But I want to make it clear so that everyone understands that the IFP at national level cannot engage in a discussion with the provincial level of the ANC.”

Hlabisa said that because he and President Cyril Ramaphosa were present at the event when Duma grabbed the microphone, “and he commented on the matter, it is therefore at national leadership level”.

Hlabisa said assertions by Duma and Bheki Mtolo, the provincial secretary of the ANC, that the position of traditional prime minister is not recognised by the government and the Constitution, was surprising.

“The position of traditional prime minister has been in existence for close to two centuries. The IFP believes that this position and even in all other kingdoms and traditional institutions, is of great importance and is therefore supported,” Hlabisa said.

He denied that IFP members attacked ANC members after the microphone-grabbing incident at KwaCeza and said, so far, no evidence has been produced to back up the allegations.

However, if IFP leaders are provided with evidence implicating their members, they would not hesitate to act.

Pictured above: IFP president Velenkosini Hlabisa speaking to the media.

Image source: Supplied