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Former IFP leader Buthelezi to lead reconciliation project with ANC

IFP president Velenkosini Hlabisa believed if the ANC made certain public concessions - the IFP's public image will be cleansed.

FILE: According to Velenkosini Hlabisa, the party's former president Mangosuthu Buthelezi had been a great mentor to him and the party had tasked Buthelezi to champion some key causes for the party.Pciture: Xanderleigh Dookey/EWN.

KWAZULU-NATAL - Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) president Velenkosini Hlabisa said former party president Mangosuthu Buthelezi was appointed to lead a reconciliation project with the African National Congress (ANC).

Hlabisa said the IFP's history and its role during apartheid has been largely distorted.

Speaking to Eyewitness News on Sunday, Hlabisa said he believed that if the ANC could make certain public concessions, the IFP's public image would be cleansed.

He was on tour at the Khakhama Village in the south of KwaZulu-Natal.

According to Hlabisa, the party's former president had been a great mentor to him and the party had tasked Buthelezi to champion some key causes for the party.

"On the issue of bringing reconciliation between the ANC and the IFP, it's a special issue under his attention and he's very supportive, wherever we need his opinion or support, he's gladly available," he said.

Some party supporters complained they were denied access to service delivery and job opportunities by ANC councillors because of their political affiliation.

Hlabisa vowed to take this up as part of discussions with the ruling party.

During his wide-ranging address, Hlabisa also lambasted the scourge of gender-based violence and said the party would now campaign for all those accused of rape to be denied bail.

LAND

The IFP said government must expropriate all land owned by business people living abroad without compensation and redistribute it to South Africans in need of land.

Hlabisa said government must introduce agricultural studies at lower school levels, as well as establish new agricultural colleges.

He said the party had prepared to participate at the upcoming land summit, where it would persuade government to adopt its positions on the land question.

“There’s a lot of land under the control of government. The government must immediately give claim to our people.”

The party said it would persuade government to train a new generation of agricultural entrepreneurs.

“The government must open agriculture in our schools and colleges of agriculture. Our youth must be equipped with skills.”

Hlabisa said the IFP would also campaign for government to ensure the availability of farming implements such as tractors, seeds and fertilisers.

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