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'We had to defend ourselves': Buthelezi denies orchestrating apartheid violence

In a wide-ranging interview with Eyewitness News, IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi defended his party’s role in black-on-black violence during the 80s and 90s.

Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi. Picture: EWN

DURBAN – Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi has denied that he ever orchestrated the violence during the last days of apartheid, adding that his party was also a victim of that war.

In a wide-ranging interview with Eyewitness News, Buthelezi defended his party’s role in black on black violence during the 80s and 90s.

WATCH: Buthelezi: The ANC sidelines traditional leaders

He says that when the African National Congress (ANC) came back from guerrilla training in Vietnam, much to his surprise, it wasn’t to be used to fight against the white minority. Instead, an attack was directed at other black political formations.

Buthelezi says he was betrayed by the ANC leadership which had initially asked him to form Inkatha Inkululeko yeSizwe.

Buthelezi said that his members were forced to defend themselves from unwarranted attacks from the ANC.

"We had to defend ourselves. The IFP never sat down. At any meeting of the IFP or any other structures, I said to them that one has the right to self-defend. They have a right to defend themselves, their homes and their loved ones. Therefore, we defended ourselves."

The IFP leader contends that the narrative of him being an apartheid collaborator was created by journalists and writers who chose to ignore truths.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)