Analysts concerned over KZN political tensions

todayMarch 19, 2024 105 1

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Cultural Expert, Prof. Musa Xulu, has defended the chairperson of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal, Siboniso Duma, for snatching the microphone away from AmaZulu traditional prime minister, Thulasizwe Buthelezi.

Clashes between ANC and IFP supporters erupted on Saturday in Nongoma during the 110th celebration of King Dinuzulu ka Cetshwayo.

IFP supporters were allegedly unleashing their fury after Duma stopped Buthelezi from finishing his address. The ANC KZN chair wasn’t impressed by the Zulu monarch’s prime minister after he used the podium to lambast the ANC instead of introducing the King.

Professor Xulu believes Duma’s move was strategic and necessary as there would have been more chaos had he allowed Buthelezi to continue speaking.

He says the clashes between IFP and ANC members are concerning as they set a dangerous precedence ahead of the upcoming hotly contested general elections.

Professor Xulu says Buthelezi is not a traditional prime minister to the Zulu nation, but to the King.

Researcher and activist for political and human rights, Professor Mary de Haas, has warned against the continued stoking of tribalism in KZN, blaming former ANC president, Jacob Zuma, for promoting Zulu nationalism.
De Haas says the country needs to return to its founding democratic principles, which was introduced by the ANC when the party first came into power, with its leaders like former president Thabo Mbeki advocating for unity – as referenced in his “I am an African” speech.

Speaking on the relevance of traditional leaders in South Africa today, De Haas says they should remain apolitical.

Political analyst, Levy Ndou, has also weighed in, saying in South Africa political violence must be avoided at the highest level.
Ndou says political party leaders should be at the forefront of creating awareness and educate their supporters to learn to tolerate each other, especially as the country heads for elections.
He says considering how far South Africa has come, any element which seeks to defy what has been achieved since the dismantling of apartheid, should not be encouraged.

Written by: Nokwazi Qumbisa

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