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Vol 48 No 21

Published 19th October 2007

South Africa

Zuma, Buthelezi and the Zulu nation

The exit of Inkatha leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi from politics and the rise and rise of Jacob Zuma as a national leader with an unassailable base in KwaZulu-Natal is a moment of truth for South Africa’s Zulus.

The Inkatha Freedom Party, so long dominant in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), is losing its grip and risks disintegration. Its leader, Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi, told its national conference (13-14 October) that he would not stand for re-election in 2009 although, he said, many IFP supporters had portrayed him as clinging on to power. 'I will not be available. I hope that this will put the matter to rest,' he said. He will, however, lead the party for the general elections in early 2009. We understand that Buthelezi has been outraged by behind-the-scenes manoeuvring to get rid of him.

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