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(From BBC Monitoring International Reports)
The ruling African National Congress, ANC, has blamed the Inkatha Freedom Party, IFP, for the recent political crisis in KwaZulu-Natal Province. In a statement by Dumisani Makhaye, an ANC legislator in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature, the party accused the IFP of "reneging" on a 1999 pact between the two parties, which sought to bring peace, stability and development to the volatile province. The ANC further accused the IFP of forming alliances with parties opposed to its policies. The statement, which also said KwaZulu is now stable courtesy of a "pre-emptive proposal" by the ANC, advised IFP that "real patriots" always "think beyond the narrow partisan interests".
The following is the text of the statement by the ANC entitled "The road to chaos can be stopped in KwaZulu-Natal" and published by South African news agency SAPA web site; subheadings inserted editorially:
Recent political developments in KwaZulu-Natal have refocused the attention of South Africans on the province. Many a political pundit have commented on these political developments often without understanding the recent background.
Here we are trying to assist the reader by presenting facts to allow the reader to have an informed opinion of what is happening or what should not happen in KwaZulu-Natal.
Admittedly, the author is one of the key players in these developments and as such may not be objective. But one hopes that the reader will overcome that.
The ANC 1997 Mafikeng conference adopted a resolution to forge closer working relations with Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) at all levels. The conference was addressed by the IFP national chairman, Lionel Mtshali. In 1998 the IFP conference reciprocated by adopting a similar resolution. The IFP conference was addressed by the ANC President Thabo Mbeki.
These two resolutions epitomized a long process of behind the scenes convincing of each other of the need of working together between the ANC and IFP. As early as 1992 during the height of political violence, the ANC Natal leadership, including the late Harry Gwala, had adopted a document calling for peace in the province. That document was later accepted by the then fourteen ANC regions. At a government level it meant working together at national, provincial and local government levels beyond the 1999 elections irrespective of the number of votes each party received.
After the 1996 local government elections in KwaZulu-Natal, the ANC in the province had already extended an olive branch to the IFP by including IFP councillors in ANC-controlled local government executives, such as Sipho Ngwenya, then IFP leader in Durban who became the deputy-mayor. This was not reciprocated by the IFP in local councils under their control.
During the 1994 elections, the balance of forces in the eighty-one strong KwaZulu-Natal legislature were as follows: IFP 41, ANC 26, Minority Front (MF) 1, DP [Democratic Party]2; ACDP [African Christian Democratic Party]1, PAC [Pan-Africanist Congress]1 and …