Inkatha Freedom Party

From Academic Kids

Template:Politics of South Africa The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) is a political party in South Africa. As of 2003, it is led by Mangosuthu Buthelezi.



The IFP was founded in 1975 by Buthelezi, a former member of the ANC Youth League, and was originally known as the Inkatha National Cultural Liberation Movement. Using a structure rooted in Inkatha, a 1920s cultural organization for Zulus established by Zulu leader King Solomon kaDinizulu in an effort to spread awareness about the obvious threat posed to black South Africans by the cultural imperialism of both the British and Afrikaners. The party was established in what is now KwaZulu-Natal, after which branches of the party quickly sprang up in the Transvaal, the Orange Free State and the Western Cape.

Because of Buthelezi's former position in the African National Congress, the two organizations were intially very close and each supported the other in the anti-apartheid struggle. However, by the early 1990s the IFP had become regarded as thorn in the side of the ANC and the PAC, which wielded much more political force than the IFC. This was especially the case during the time period in which Nelson Mandela, F.W. de Klerk, and others were attempting to establish an end to violence and the apartheid system. And although the IFC initally favored non-violence, as opposed to the ANC which created the Umkhonto we Sizwe, there is clear evidence that during the time negotiations were taking place Inkatha members did take part in organized violence in attempt to disrupt the negotiations by killing various persons associated with the ANC. Furthermore, many of the attacks carried out by the Inkatha militants were supported by compliant police forces (white, government police officers). This odd co-operation between police and the IFP indicates that not only whites, but the IFP were opposed to the creation of the South African state as it exists today. That being said, the IFP militants were decidely a minority in their own party and the attacks on the ANC were spreadheaded politically by white opposition.

During the phase of establishing a constitution for South Africa and prior to the first free elections in the history of South Africa, bloodshed also occured between the IFP and the ANC. The ANC attempted to campaign in the Inkatha stronghold of Natal and were met with resistance, sometimes violent, by members of the IFP. The IFP was also initally opposed to the certain parts of the proposed South African constitution regarding the internal politics of KwaZulu, wanting autonomy and a sovereign Zulu king (King Goodwill Zwelethini kaBhekuzulu) as head of state. As a result, the IFP abstained from registering its party for the election (a neccessity in order to receive votes) in opposition. However, once it became obvious that its efforts were not going to stop the election (the IFP's desired goal), the party was registered. However, due to their opposition to the constitution concessions were made and KwaZulu/Natal was granted double ballots for provincial and national legistaltures, great provincial powers, the inclusion of 'KwaZulu' in the official name of the province and recognition of specific ethnic and tribal groups within Natal.

On election day, the IFP displayed its political strength by taking the majority of the votes for KwaZulu/Natal.


Current Status

External link

Template:South African Topicsde:Inkatha Freedom Party


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