Inkatha Freedom Party
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The Inkatha Freedom Party ( zu, IQembu leNkatha yeNkululeko, IFP) is a
political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country's elections. It is common for the members of a party to hold similar ideas about politics, and parties may promote specific political ideology, ...
in South Africa. The party has been led by
Velenkosini Hlabisa Velenkosini Fiki Hlabisa (born 4 January 1965) is a South African politician and former teacher who has been President of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and the Leader of the Opposition in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature since 2019. He served as the ...

Velenkosini Hlabisa
since the party's 2019 National General Conference.
Mangosuthu Buthelezi Mangosuthu Gatsha Buthelezi (born 27 August 1928) is a South African politician and Zulu tribal leader who founded what became the Inkatha Freedom Party The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) is a political party in South Africa. The party has be ...
founded the party in 1975 and led it until 2019. The IFP is currently the fourth largest party in the
National Assembly of South Africa The National Assembly is the lower house of the Parliament of South Africa, located in Cape Town, Western Cape Province. It consists of four hundred Members of Parliament, members who are elected every five years using a party-list proportional r ...

National Assembly of South Africa
, in
2014 2014 was designated as: * International Year of Crystallography * International Year of Family Farming * International Year of Small Island Developing States * International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People __TOC__ Events Janu ...
yielding third place to the
Economic Freedom Fighters The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) is a South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over Demographics of South Africa, 59 million people, it is the world's Li ...
, formed in 2013. Although registered as a national party, it has had only minor electoral success outside its home province of
KwaZulu-Natal KwaZulu-Natal (, also referred to as KZN and known as "the garden province"; zu, iKwaZulu-Natali; xh, KwaZulu-Natala; af, KwaZoeloe-Natal) is a Provinces of South Africa, province of South Africa that was created in 1994 when the Zulu people, ...
.


Policies

Policy proposals of the IFP include: *
Devolution Devolution is the statutory delegation of powers from the central government of a sovereign state A sovereign state is a political entity that is represented by one centralized government that has sovereignty over a geographic area. In ...
of power to provincial governments * Making the head of state and head of government posts separate, with a ceremonial figurehead as head of state. *
Mixed-member proportional representation Mixed-member proportional representation (MMP or MMPR) is a mixed electoral system in which voters get two votes: one to decide the legislator, representative for their single-seat electoral district, constituency, and one for a political part ...
for the
National Assembly In politics, a national assembly is either a unicameral In government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In the case of its broad associative defin ...

National Assembly
. * Liberalisation of trade * Lower income taxes * More flexible labour laws * Autonomy for traditional African communities and their leaders * Allowing traditional authorities to exercise local government functions * Opposing the notion that
tribalism Tribalism is the state of being organized by, or advocating for, tribes or tribal lifestyles. Human evolution has primarily occurred in small groups, as opposed to people's cooperation in society as a whole. With a negative connotation and in a ...
is inherently regressive and antithetic to development and progress. In 2018, the party issued an official statement, penned by MP, Narend Singh, stating that the time had come to discuss the possibility of reinstating the
death penalty Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, is the state-sanctioned killing of a person as punishment for a crime. The sentence ordering that someone is punished with the death penalty is called a death sentence, and the act of ca ...
in South Africa.


History

Gatsha
Mangosuthu Buthelezi Mangosuthu Gatsha Buthelezi (born 27 August 1928) is a South African politician and Zulu tribal leader who founded what became the Inkatha Freedom Party The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) is a political party in South Africa. The party has be ...
, a former member of the
ANC Youth League The African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) is the youth wing of the African National Congress The African National Congress (ANC) is the Republic of South Africa's governing political party. It has been the ruling party of History ...
, founded the Inkatha National Cultural Liberation Movement (INCLM) on 21 March 1975. In 1994 the name was changed to Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP). Buthelezi used a structure rooted in '' Inkatha'' (meaning "crown" in Zulu), a 1920s cultural organisation for
Zulus Zulu people (; zu, amaZulu) are a Nguni ethnic group in Southern Africa Southern Africa is the south South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north and is perpendicular to the east and west. ...
established by his uncle, Zulu king
Solomon kaDinuzulu Nkayishana Maphumzana 'Phumuzuzulu' Solomon kaDinuzulu (1891–1933) was the king of the Zulu Zulu may refer to: Zulu people * Zulu Kingdom or Zulu Empire, a former monarchy in what is now South Africa * Zulu language, a Bantu language spoken in ...
. The party was established in what is now
KwaZulu-Natal KwaZulu-Natal (, also referred to as KZN and known as "the garden province"; zu, iKwaZulu-Natali; xh, KwaZulu-Natala; af, KwaZoeloe-Natal) is a Provinces of South Africa, province of South Africa that was created in 1994 when the Zulu people, ...
, after which branches of the party quickly sprang up in the
TransvaalTransvaal is a historical geographic term associated with land north of (''i.e.'', beyond) the Vaal River in South Africa. A number of states and administrative divisions have carried the name Transvaal. * South African Republic (1856–1902; af, Z ...
, the
Orange Free State The Orange Free State ( nl, Oranje Vrijstaat, af, Oranje-Vrystaat, abbreviated as OVS) was an independent Boer Boers () ( af , Boere) refers to the descendants of the proto-Afrikaans-speaking colonists of the eastern Cape frontier in ...
and the
Western Cape The Western Cape ( af, Wes-Kaap; xh, iNtshona-Koloni) is a provinces of South Africa, province of South Africa, situated on the south-western coast of the country. It is the List of South African provinces by area, fourth largest of the nine pr ...
. Because of Buthelezi's former position in the
African National Congress The African National Congress (ANC) is a social-democratic political party in South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the Southern Africa, southernmost country in Africa. With over Demographics of ...
, the two organisations were initially very close and each supported the other in the anti-apartheid struggle. However, by the early 1980s the Inkatha had come to be regarded as a thorn in the side of the ANC, which wielded much more political force through the United Democratic Front (UDF), than Inkatha and the
Pan Africanist Congress The Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (formerly known as the Pan Africanist Congress, abbreviated as the PAC) is a South African Pan-Africanism, Pan-Africanist movement that is now a political party. It was founded by an Africanist group, led by ...
. Although the Inkatha leadership initially favoured non-violence, there is clear evidence that during the time that negotiations were taking place in the early 1990s, Inkatha and ANC members were at war with each other, and ''Self-Protection Units (SPUs)'' and ''Self-Defence Units (SDUs)'' were formed, respectively, as their protection forces. As a Homeland leader, the power of Buthelezi depended on the South African state and economy. With anti-apartheid leaders inside South Africa and abroad demanding sanctions, Buthelezi came to be regarded more and more as a government puppet, along with other Bantustan leaders. His tribal loyalties and focus on ethnic interests over national unity were also criticised as contributing to the divisive programme of Inkatha. This led to a virtual civil war between Zulu loyalist supporters and ANC members in KwaZulu-Natal. Fearing erosion of his power, Buthelezi collaborated with the
South African Defence Force The South African Defence Force (SADF) comprised the South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over Demographics of South Africa, 59 million people, it is ...
and received military training for Zulu militia from SADF special forces starting in the 1980s as part of Operation Marion. Inkatha members were involved in several massacres in the run-up to South Africa's first democratic elections, including the Trust Feed massacre on 3 December 1988, and the Boipatong massacre on 17 June 1992. In November 1993, the IFP signed a solidarity pact with the
Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging The Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (), meaning ''Afrikaner Resistance Movement'', commonly known by its abbreviation AWB, is an Afrikaner nationalist, neo-Nazi, and white supremacist political party A political party is an organization tha ...

Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging
, with the AWB providing the IFP with military training and agreeing that "Boer and Zulu would fight together for freedom and land should they be confronted by a common enemy". During the phase of establishing a constitution for South Africa and prior to the first free elections in South African history, bloodshed frequently occurred between Inkatha and the ANC. Both Inkatha and ANC attempted to campaign in each other's KwaZulu-Natal strongholds and were met with resistance, sometimes violent, by members of the opposing party. Inkatha was also initially opposed to parts of the proposed South African constitution regarding the internal politics of KwaZulu, and, in particular, they campaigned for an autonomous and sovereign Zulu king, (King
Goodwill Zwelethini kaBhekuzulu King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu (27 July 1948 – 12 March 2021) was the reigning King of the King of the Romans (variant used in the early modern period) File:Nezahualpiltzintli.jpg">Aztec King Nezahualpiltzintli of Texcoco King ...
), as head of state. As a result, Inkatha abstained from registering its party for the 1994 election (a necessity in order to receive votes), in opposition. However, once it became obvious that its efforts were not going to stop the election, the party was registered as the Inkatha Freedom Party at the eleventh hour. However, due to their opposition to the constitution, concessions were made and KwaZulu-Natal (and thus all the other provinces) were granted double ballots for provincial and national legislatures, greater provincial powers, the inclusion of '
KwaZulu KwaZulu was a semi-independent bantustan in South Africa, intended by the apartheid government as a homeland for the Zulu people. The capital was moved from Nongoma to Ulundi in 1980. It was led until its abolition in 1994 by Chief Mangosu ...

KwaZulu
' in the official name of the province (formerly '
Natal NATAL or Natal may refer to: Places * Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, a city in Brazil * Natal, South Africa (disambiguation), a region in South Africa ** Natalia Republic, a former country (1839–1843) ** Colony of Natal, a former British colony (18 ...
') and recognition of specific ethnic and tribal groups within the province. On election day, the IFP displayed its political strength by taking the majority of the votes for
KwaZulu-Natal KwaZulu-Natal (, also referred to as KZN and known as "the garden province"; zu, iKwaZulu-Natali; xh, KwaZulu-Natala; af, KwaZoeloe-Natal) is a Provinces of South Africa, province of South Africa that was created in 1994 when the Zulu people, ...
.


Post-apartheid politics

After the dismantling of apartheid system in 1994, the IFP formed an uneasy coalition in the national government with their traditional political rival, the ANC. This coalition was to last until 2004, when the IFP joined the opposition benches. The ANC/IFP rivalry, characterised by sporadic acts of
political violence Political violence is violence Violence is the use of physical force so as to injure, abuse, damage, or destroy. Other definitions are also used, such as the World Health Organization's definition of violence as "the intentional use of physical ...
, has been firm since 1993. In 2004, while campaigning in Vulindlela, an IFP bastion in the
Pietermaritzburg Pietermaritzburg (; Zulu language, Zulu: umGungundlovu) is the capital and second-largest city in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It was founded in 1838 and is currently governed by the Msunduzi Local Municipality. Its Zulu name umGu ...

Pietermaritzburg
Midlands The Midlands is the central part of England and a cultural area that broadly corresponds to the early medieval Mercia, Kingdom of Mercia. The Midlands region is bordered by Northern England and Southern England. The Midlands were important in th ...
region, was reportedly debarred by an IFP-affiliated traditional leader in Mafunze. Previously the stronghold of
Moses Mabhida Moses Mncane Mbheki Mabhida (11 October 1923 – 8 March 1986) was a South African politician. Mabhida was leader of the South African Communist Party The South African Communist Party (SACP) is a communist party in South Africa. It was ...
, this area has long been the site of heated clashes between the parties. The IFP's manifesto seeks the resolution to a number of South African issues, especially the
AIDS Human immunodeficiency virus infection and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) is a spectrum of conditions caused by infection An infection is the invasion of an organism's body Tissue (biology), tissues by Pathogen, disease-ca ...
crisis, in addition to addressing "unemployment, crime, poverty and corruption and prevent the consolidation of a one-party state" The "prevention of a one-party state" is with regards to the ruling ANC, which is perceived by many as making efforts to undemocratically consolidate power for their own party. The IFP also states that "Our proposals are designed to give people control over their lives: a hand up, not a hand down. Social justice for all. We also have the political will to deal effectively with these problems."


Gavin Woods report

Gavin Woods, one of the party's most respected MPs, drew up a highly critical 11-page internal discussion document at the request of the parliamentary caucus after a discussion in October 2004. In it, he said that the IFP "has no discernible vision, mission or philosophical base, no clear national ambitions or direction, no articulated ideological basis and offers little in the way of current, vibrant original and relevant policies". Woods also warned the party that "it must treat Buthelezi as the leader of a political party and not the political party itself". Woods pinpointed 1987 as the year when the IFP started losing ground as a political force. Before 1987, Woods contends, the party had a strong, unambiguous national identity. He further criticised the IFP's inability to end the ANC's campaign of violence against it, and an "impotent" attitude towards the attacks conducted against it by the ANC. At the first caucus discussion, Woods read out the 11-page paper in full and caucus members were generally positive about its frank nature. IFP president Mangosuthu Buthelezi was absent from that meeting but raised it at a meeting of the party's national council, which Woods did not attend. At a subsequent caucus meeting where both were present, Buthelezi read from a prepared statement attacking Woods. All the numbered copies were ordered to be "shredded" but some survived.


Electoral decline

After the 1994 elections, the IFP suffered a gradual decline in support. The party ceded control of the KwaZulu-Natal, KwaZulu-Natal province to the ANC following the 2004 South African general election, 2004 general election and its presence in Northern KwaZulu-Natal, its stronghold, started to become diminished. Party member Ziba Jiyane left the IFP to form the National Democratic Convention (South Africa), National Democratic Convention (Nadeco). Prominent IFP MP Gavin Woods and IFP ward councillors in KwaZulu-Natal joined his new party. After the party's results in the 2009 general elections, party members began debating a change in leadership for the 2011 local government elections. Buthelezi had previously announced his retirement but rescinded it. Senior IFP politician Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi wanted Buthelezi to step down and had supporters advocating for her to take over the party's leadership. She later resigned from the party and formed a breakaway party, the National Freedom Party (NFP). The NFP obtained 2.4% of the national vote and 10.4% in KwaZulu-Natal in the 2011 municipal elections, mainly at the expense of the IFP. In the 2014 general elections, the party achieved its lowest support levels since 1994. The party lost its status as the official opposition in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature to the Democratic Alliance (South Africa), Democratic Alliance. Nationally, the party lost eight seats in the National Assembly. The NFP factor also contributed to the IFP's decline on the national and provincial level. Buthelezi later said in 2019 that the reason the party had lost support, was because of ANC president Jacob Zuma being from the Zulu people, Zulu tribe. He insisted that the exodus voters leaving the IFP occurred on ethnic grounds.


Resurgence and succession

In the 2016 municipal elections, the party's support grew for the first time since 1994. The party had reclaimed support in Northern KwaZulu-Natal. The ANC and DA both suggested that the NFP not being able to participate in the election, contributed to the party's surge in support. The party managed to retain control of the Nkandla Local Municipality, the residence of former ANC president Jacob Zuma. In October 2017, Buthelezi announced that he would step down as leader of the IFP at the party's National General Conference in 2019. The party's Extended National Council pledged its support to
Velenkosini Hlabisa Velenkosini Fiki Hlabisa (born 4 January 1965) is a South African politician and former teacher who has been President of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and the Leader of the Opposition in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature since 2019. He served as the ...

Velenkosini Hlabisa
, mayor of the Big Five Hlabisa Local Municipality, to succeed Buthelezi as party leader. The party grew its support in the May 2019 general elections and won back the title of official opposition in KwaZulu-Natal. Hlabisa became the leader of the opposition in the legislature, as he was the party's premier candidate. Buthelezi confirmed his intention to stand down as leader. Hlabisa was elected president of the IFP at the party's 35th Inkatha Freedom Party National General Conference, 35th National General Conference in August 2019.


Election results


National elections

, - ! Election ! Total votes ! Share of vote ! Seats ! +/– ! Government , - ! South African general election, 1994, 1994 , 2,058,294 , 10.54% , , – , , - ! South African general election, 1999, 1999 , align="right" , 1,371,477 , align="right" , 8.58% , , 9 , , - ! South African general election, 2004, 2004 , align="right" , 1,088,664 , align="right" , 6.97% , , 6 , , - ! South African general election, 2009, 2009 , align="right" , 804,260 , align="right" , 4.55% , , 10 , , - ! South African general election, 2014, 2014 , align="right" , 441,854 , align="right" , 2.40% , , 8 , , - ! South African general election, 2019, 2019 , align="right" , 588,839 , align="right" , 3.38% , , 4 ,


Provincial elections

! rowspan=2 , Election ! colspan=2 , Eastern Cape ! colspan=2 , Free State (South African province), Free State ! colspan=2 , Gauteng ! colspan=2 , KwaZulu-Natal, Kwazulu-Natal ! colspan=2 , Limpopo ! colspan=2 , Mpumalanga ! colspan=2 , North West (South African province), North-West ! colspan=2 , Northern Cape ! colspan=2 ,
Western Cape The Western Cape ( af, Wes-Kaap; xh, iNtshona-Koloni) is a provinces of South Africa, province of South Africa, situated on the south-western coast of the country. It is the List of South African provinces by area, fourth largest of the nine pr ...
, - ! % !! Seats ! % !! Seats ! % !! Seats ! % !! Seats ! % !! Seats ! % !! Seats ! % !! Seats ! % !! Seats ! % !! Seats , - ! South African general election, 1994, 1994 , 0.17% , , 0/56 , 0.51% , , 0/30 , 3.66% , , 3/86 , 50.32% , , 41/81 , 0.12% , , 0/40 , 1.52% , , 0/30 , 0.38% , , 0/30 , 0.42% , , 0/30 , 0.35% , , 0/42 , - ! South African general election, 1999, 1999 , 0.33% , , 0/63 , 0.47% , , 0/30 , 3.51% , , 3/73 , 41.90% , , 34/80 , 0.34% , , 0/49 , 1.41% , , 0/30 , 0.52% , , 0/33 , 0.53% , , 0/30 , 0.18% , , 0/42 , - ! South African general election, 2004, 2004 , 0.20% , , 0/63 , 0.35% , , 0/30 , 2.51% , , 2/73 , 36.82% , , 30/80 , , , , 0.96% , , 0/30 , 0.25% , , 0/33 , 0.24% , , 0/30 , 0.14% , , 0/42 , - ! South African general election, 2009, 2009 , 0.10% , , 0/63 , 0.22% , , 0/30 , 1.49% , , 1/73 , 22.40% , , 18/80 , 0.06% , , 0/49 , 0.50% , , 0/30 , 0.15% , , 0/33 , 0.19% , , 0/30 , 0.06% , , 0/42 , - ! South African general election, 2014, 2014 , 0.06% , , 0/63 , 0.11% , , 0/30 , 0.78% , , 1/73 , 10.86% , , 9/80 , 0.08% , , 0/49 , 0.26% , , 0/30 , 0.14% , , 0/33 , 0.06% , , 0/30 , 0.05% , , 0/42 , - ! South African general election, 2019, 2019 , 0.05% , , 0/63 , 0.08% , , 0/30 , 0.89% , , 1/73 , 16.34% , , 13/80 , 0.05% , , 0/49 , 0.31% , , 0/30 , 0.08% , , 0/33 , - , , - , 0.03% , , 0/42


KwaZulu-Natal provincial elections

, - ! Election ! Votes ! % ! Seats , - ! South African general election, 1994#KwaZulu/Natal, 1994 , 1,844,070 , 50.32 , 41 , - ! South African general election, 1999#KwaZulu-Natal, 1999 , 1,241,522 , 41.90 , 34 , - ! South African general election, 2004#KwaZulu-Natal, 2004 , 1,009,267 , 36.82 , 30 , - ! South African general election, 2009#KwaZulu-Natal, 2009 , 780,027 , 22.40 , 18 , - ! South African general election, 2014#KwaZulu-Natal, 2014 , 416,496 , 10.86 , 9 , - ! South African general election, 2019#KwaZulu-Natal, 2019 , 588,046 , 16.34 , 13


Municipal elections

, - ! Election ! Votes ! % , - ! South African municipal election, 1995–1996, 1995–96 , align="right" , 757,704 , align="right" , 8.7% , - ! South African municipal election, 2000, 2000 , align="right" , , align="right" , 9.1% , - ! South African municipal election, 2006, 2006 , align="right" , 2,120,142 , align="right" , 8.1% , - ! South African municipal election, 2011, 2011 , align="right" , 954,021 , align="right" , 3.6% , - ! South African municipal election, 2016, 2016 , 1,823,382 , 4.7% , - ! 2021 South African municipal elections, 2021 , align="right" , 1,916,170 , align="right" , 6.3%


See also

*Shell House massacre


References


Further reading

* Google.
kaMagwaza-Msibi Gamalakhe
. Google Search. 3 May 2009. (Accessed 3 May 2009.) * Inkatha Freedom Party. "African National Congress, ANC Members Attack IFP Premier Candidate in Port Shepstone". Durban: IFP Press Statement, 8 April 2009. * IFP.
ANC Members Attack IFP Premier Candidate in Port Shepstone
. Inkatha Freedom Party. 8 April 2009. (Accessed 3 May 2009.) * IFP.
ANC Members Attack IFP Premier Candidate in Port Shepstone
media.co.za. 9 April 2009. (Accessed 3 May 2009.) * IFP.
IFP: Statement by the Inkatha Freedom Party on the attack of its Premier candidate in Port Shepstone (08/04/2009)
''Polity''. 8 April 2009. (Accessed 3 May 2009.) * IFP.
IEC must reconsider ANC's eligibility for 2009 elections – IFP
. ''Politicsweb''. 24 February 2009. (Accessed 3 May 2009.) * IFP. "IFP Calls for Forensic Accounting, Forensic Audit into uMhlabuyalingana Municipality". Durban: IFP Press Statement, 9 April 2009. * IFP. "IFP National Chair to Hold More Post-Election Rallies". Durban: IFP Press Statement, 3 May 2009. * IFP. "IFP to Outline Plans for First 100 Days in Power in KZN". Durban: IFP Press Statement, 13 April 2009. * Mandela, Nelson; ''Long Walk to Freedom (book), Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela''; Little Brown & Co; (paperback, 1995). * Mbuyazi, Nondumiso.
IFP accuses ANC members of assault
. ''Independent Online (South Africa), IOL''. 8 April 2009. (Accessed 3 May 2009.) * Skosana, Ben. "Southern African Development Community, SADC Must Reach Inclusive, Sustainable Solution for Zimbabwe, Zim". Durban: Inkatha Freedom Party, 26 January 2009. * Zapiro.
Zapiro's A–Z of Election '09
. ''Mail & Guardian''. 26 April 2009. (Accessed 3 May 2009.)


External links


Flag of the Inkatha Freedom PartyInkatha Freedom Party
official site
Speech by Mangosuthu Buthelezi
to The Heritage Foundation, 19 June 1991. {{Authority control Inkatha Freedom Party, Organisations associated with apartheid Political parties in South Africa Conservative parties in South Africa Right-wing parties Anti-communist parties