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This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

Chapter Ten: Increased Repression and Continued Attack in 1995 and 1996

The Viewpoint of the Inkatha Freedom Party

Introduction

In the viewpoint of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), the period from January 1995 to October 1996 witnessed a renewed resolve on the part of the African National Congress (ANC) to undermine and crush its most important political rival-the IFP. To this end, the ANC wooed the Zulu monarch to its side, in the hope that this would erode the IFP's support within the Zulu nation. It sought also to ensure that the amakhosi in the province would be paid in future from Pretoria, so that the power of patronage thus conferred on central government would further undermine the IFP's support in rural areas.

In the context of constitutional negotiations, the ANC's determination to attain hegemonic control over post-apartheid South Africa became increasingly apparent. The new constitution-drafted through a process in which the ANC predominated and had no need to compromise-reduced yet further the limited powers previously accorded the provinces. It also ensured-through a new model of 'co-operative governance'-that the provinces outside ANC control (KwaZulu/Natal and the Western Cape) would be stripped yet further of their capacity for independent action. The ANC, moreover-fearing that international mediation would highlight the need for a federal system of government in a country both divided and diverse-reneged on its commitment to begin this process as soon as possible after the April 1994 election.

In relation to the Shell House issue, the ANC's true colours were again revealed. More than a year after the fatal shooting of at least eight IFP supporters in March 1994, President Nelson Mandela stated that he had given ANC security guards an order to use lethal force to protect the building from any IFP attack. No evidence of any IFP attack on the ANC's headquarters had earlier emerged, however. ANC obstruction of police investigation continued, moreover, and it was not until July 1996-more than two years after the event-that the last of the weapons needed for ballistic testing were finally submitted for this purpose.

In KwaZulu/Natal itself, the ANC used its governmental powers to wage its war against the IFP by other means. Former cadres of Umkhonto we Sizwe (Umkhonto), the ANC's erstwhile armed wing, were incorporated into the police and army, and used their new positions to harass, assault and attack the IFP. Self-defence units remained operative and continued to be trained in paramilitary warfare-sometimes by former Umkhonto cadres now dressed in army uniform. The illegal arms caches smuggled by the ANC into the province in the early 1990s were not surrendered to the police, while the G-3 rifles earlier issued by the former KwaZulu administration to traditional leaders for their protection were recalled.

A security crackdown was initiated and focused, inter alia, on removing illegal weapons from the province. Weapons' searches were often selective in their focus-targeting communities known to support the IFP, while ignoring those in which the ANC predominated. Special police units were deployed within the province and were selective, too, in their investigations of the violence. Continued assassinations of IFP leaders-in terms of which more than 400 Inkatha leaders had been killed since the early 1980s-were virtually ignored. Instead, these special units focused their attention on investigating 'third force' allegations, in which the blame for the continued conflict was placed on IFP 'warlords' and elements within the police.

Leaders of the IFP continued, moreover, to be gunned down in different flashpoints across the province. Many of the party's candidates for the local government elections were executed in this way, until a peace initiative launched some weeks before the polls brought significant respite. Though the local polls proceeded thereafter in relative peace, important questions remained unanswered as to the extent to which their outcome had been 'rigged'. This followed an unprecedented number of additional voter registrations, effected by the ANC in a four-day period a month before the polls-and focused primarily on the urban areas in which the organisation was believed to be unsure of its support.

As in the past, moreover, the ANC's physical campaign against the IFP was accompanied by a war of words, in which the IFP and its president, Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi, were portrayed as violent, traitorous, and intransigent. The IFP was accused of brinkmanship for withdrawing from constitutional negotiations when the ANC repudiated its commitment to international mediation. The IFP was dismissed as having a 'secessionist' agenda when it sought to augment the measure of autonomy permitted the province. The IFP was described as a 'bandits' organisation' by the ANC, and condemned by the media for the deaths of ANC supporters-while ongoing attacks on IFP leaders and supporters went virtually unreported and generally unacknowledged.

In the IFP's perspective, little 'progress' was witnessed in this period. On the contrary, it was used by the ANC to consolidate its grip on power, increase its capacity for coercion, and continue its physical and verbal assault upon the IFP. The period demonstrated, in addition, the lip-service accorded by the ANC to democratic principle and to the rule of law-and its willingness to subvert both in order to undermine the IFP.

This chapter traces the events which appear to support the perspective of the IFP. It outlines the viewpoint of the IFP as regards the Zulu monarch, the position of the amakhosi in the province, the question of international mediation, and the attempts by the IFP to draft a federal constitution for KwaZulu/Natal. It traces the Shell House saga, describes reported incidents of violence against the IFP within this period, and sketches the security measures implemented by the central government to end the conflict in the province. In conclusion, it describes in greater detail-against the backdrop thus outlined-the IFP's perspective on the ANC's agenda within this 22-month period.

The Role of the Zulu Monarch

Tension between the IFP and the Zulu monarch, King Goodwill Zwelithini, had first emerged in September 1994 when the king had invited Mr Mandela to Shaka Day celebrations without first consulting the IFP's president, Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi, or the provincial administration in KwaZulu/Natal. According to the IFP, the invitation had revealed a new stance on the part of the monarch. It had also reflected the culmination of a long-standing strategy by the ANC to drive a wedge between the king and Chief Buthelezi and thus erode support within the province for the IFP.

Controversy increased in March 1995 when the KwaZulu/Natal administration convened an imbizo in Umlazi (Durban). The gathering had been called, said the IFP, at the request of the chiefs, and was intended to 'create a new covenant between the king and his people' and to heal the growing rift between the monarch and the amakhosi.

Addressing the imbizo in his capacity as chairman of the KwaZulu/Natal House of Traditional Leaders, Chief Buthelezi called on King Goodwill Zwelithini to 'order a Zulu national gathering within two months to plot the way forward to the restoration of his kingdom'. Such restoration could be achieved, he said, only if the province was empowered with sufficient autonomy to ensure Zulu self-determination. Chief Buthelezi said that the king was loved by his subjects, and ought to lead the fight for the restoration of his kingdom. He made it clear, however, that if the monarch failed to call the necessary imbizo within a two-month period, the gathering would be held in any event. The IFP leader added that the chiefs were trying 'to pave the way to allow the king to return from spiritual exile to his people'. He criticised the central government for attempting to divide the Zulu nation. Chief Buthelezi also denied allegations by the ANC that an attempt was being made to dethrone the monarch, saying that 'nothing could be more far removed from our soul and our spirit than a vile plan to dethrone our king'.

King Goodwill Zwelithini made no attempt, however, to call the imbizo envisaged, and in August a gathering was instead convened by the KwaZulu/Natal administration and the House of Traditional Leaders in the province. The gathering, held at the King's Park Stadium in Durban and attended by some 70 000 people, was addressed by Chief Buthelezi and Dr Frank Mdlalose, the IFP's national chairman and the premier of KwaZulu/Natal. A seven-point 'Covenant of Allegiance' was adopted, aimed at restoring the 19th century Zulu kingdom through securing for the province increased autonomy, including 'all those powers and functions which can properly be exercised by an autonomous kingdom' in which the monarch would reign but not govern. Chief Buthelezi called on the people of KwaZulu/Natal to unite against an oppressive central government which was intent on diminishing the province to a mere 'administrative centre'. 'We swear to rise and resist with all democratic and peaceful means,' he said, 'any dictatorial actions which encroach on our inalienable God-given freedoms and on our right to self-determination.'

Dr Mdlalose said it had become clear that King Goodwill Zwelithini was now 'closer to the ANC than to his people and the provincial government of KwaZulu/Natal'. 'It has become very difficult,' he added, 'to work with His Majesty, particularly as he is surrounded by the type of people that do surround him.' KwaZulu/Natal, he continued, had come under IFP control following the April 1994 election and 'there was no place for His Majesty to interact with the national government or with political structures outside the government of the kingdom'. Chief Buthelezi stated, however, that despite difficulties with the monarchy, the Zulu nation was determined to retain it as an institution.

In September 1995 the annual reed dance was again held in the absence of Chief Buthelezi. The king sought, moreover, to prevent Shaka Day celebrations being held, and called on his subjects not to attend the events being organised by the provincial administration. At least 20 000 people, however, attended a Shaka Day rally at Stanger, where Chief Buthelezi said the Zulu nation was entering 'the final phase of the more than two-century struggle to establish its kingdom'. He pledged his support for the king and the Zulu royal house, notwithstanding the monarch's absence from the rally.

In January 1996 the ANC began discussions with the IFP regarding a further imbizo to be called by King Goodwill Zwelithini. The objective, said the ANC, would be to promote peace and national reconciliation, and allow the king to appeal for an end to violence. A meeting was arranged between Mr Mandela and Chief Buthelezi, where it was agreed that the imbizo could be held, but that traditional customs would have to be observed in arranging it. This meant that the imbizo would first have to be discussed with the amakhosi, and a meeting between the chiefs, the IFP president, the Zulu king, and President Mandela was convened in mid-March for this purpose.

The IFP said that it supported the proposed imbizo and the preliminary meeting of amakhosi necessary to endorse it, but that certain preconditions identified by the chiefs might have to be fulfilled before the imbizo could be held. It also warned that a draft bill on traditional leaders-which would prohibit any person from being a member of a house of traditional leaders if he were also a member of a legislature at provincial or national level-was intended to 'to reduce the amakhosi to figureheads' and was likely to exacerbate tensions between itself and the ANC. The IFP was also sceptical as to what the imbizo would achieve, and regarded it as a political ploy engineered by the ANC to enhance its credibility in the run-up to local government elections, then scheduled to be held in May 1996. The chiefs-whose support was necessary for the holding of the imbizo-were also said to be suspicious as to the ANC's motives.

The gathering of the amakhosi-attended by some 2 000 traditional leaders as well as by Chief Buthelezi, Mr Mandela, and King Goodwill Zwelithini-was held in a marquee outside one of the king's palaces in northern KwaZulu/Natal on 15 March 1996. During the five-hour meeting, Chief Buthelezi and several other speakers said the Zulu nation was being mistreated by the central government. They complained that the government had ignored their demands for a self-governing Zulu kingdom, for international mediation, and for proper investigation of the Shell House shootings in Johannesburg in March 1994-described by Chief Buthelezi as 'one of the darkest moments in Zulu history'. Chief Buthelezi added that tribal land, which for generations had belonged to Zulus and which had formally been vested in the king as trustee in April 1994, had also been taken under the control of the central government, while the authority of traditional leaders was being taken away. The disunity in the Zulu nation had to be bridged, he concluded, before the imbizo could be convened. 'How can we go into an imbizo to promote peace and unity,' he asked, 'when echoes of accusations and counter-accusations of murder and general mayhem are reverberating every day?'

Tension rose further at the end of March when Dr Mdlalose told the provincial legislature, in the presence of the monarch, that King Goodwill Zwelithini and his royal council were plotting to establish a rival provincial government with eight departments. Dr Mdlalose cited minutes of a meeting held, in late February, between the king, Mr Roelf Meyer, minister for provincial affairs and constitutional development, and the latter's deputy, Mr Mohammed Valli Moosa, apparently on the instructions of President Mandela. The minutes revealed proposals that central government should immediately begin paying salaries to the royal council's 'senior management' at a level equivalent to director general in national government departments. The government should also open eight offices for the council, which would have eight departments-including political affairs, foreign affairs, and security. The security department, it was stated, was needed to administer 'a newly created royal guard and provide intelligence to the monarchy'.

The minutes revealed, said Dr Mdlalose, that the national government was 'central to a plot to establish a rival government'. This was denied by Mr Jacob Zuma, the ANC's national chairman and provincial leader in KwaZulu/Natal, who said Dr Mdlalose had been informed of the meeting and was invited to take part in future discussions. The royal council also denied the allegation, and said it had sought merely to serve the monarch's needs and help remove the amakhosi from the political arena.

Towards the end of April, the king's palace in KwaMashu (Durban) was attacked and one of the monarch's five wives, Queen Buhle MaMathe Zulu, was severely assaulted while one of her daughters, Princess Sibusile, was shot in the leg. Other members of the royal household were also attacked, and a day later the body of a cousin of the king, Princess Nonhlanhla, was found in a field adjoining the KwaMashu men's hostel. She was believed to have been abducted from the palace at the time of the attack, and killed thereafter.

Dr Mdlalose expressed 'deep shock and disgust' at the attack, while an IFP spokesman, Mr Velaphi Ndlovu, said proper police investigation should be allowed before the blame was placed in any quarter. 'The IFP,' he said, 'has nothing to gain from beating up the queen and the princess.' Dr Ziba Jiyane, the secretary general of the IFP, said the possibility of an ANC splinter group having launched the attack could not be ruled out. Chief Buthelezi denied that the IFP was linked to the attack, and said the ANC had to bear 'consequential responsibility for presenting the Zulu monarch as a target'.

The Zulu monarch had also recently received death threats from a right-wing group, apparently intent on stoking conflict between the ANC and the IFP. In mid-March, shortly before the planned meeting of the amakhosi, the police had tightened security measures around King Goodwill Zwelithini and members of the royal family. This had followed a report in an Afrikaans Sunday newspaper that a 'right-wing movement, Combined Rightwing Action (Komra) was closely scrutinising Zwelithini's movements with a view to eliminating him'. According to the report, Komra wanted to 'eliminate Zwelithini and blame it on the ANC'. 'It believed this would trigger a bloody civil war between the ANC and the Zulu nation in KwaZulu/Natal.' (Komra's underlying strategy may have been to exacerbate conflict in KwaZulu/Natal so that the ANC would remain 'engaged on two fronts' and would have fewer resources available with which to act against the Afrikaner right wing in the future.)

In May and June, King Goodwill Zwelithini played a part in a peace process begun by the ANC and IFP, as well as by church leaders responsible for launching Project Ukuthula (ukuthula means 'peace' in Zulu). The intention was to defuse the simmering tension in the province in the run-up to the local government elections. At a peace conference held in mid-June, the king called for an end to violence, and said he remained committed to the achievement of this goal.

On 24 September, King Goodwill Zwelithini addressed a Heritage Day celebration at King's Park Stadium in Durban, and called on supporters of the ANC and IFP to make peace in the province. He commended Dr Mdlalose and Mr Zuma for their efforts in this regard, as well as the fact that the celebration had, for the first time, witnessed the attendance of members of both the warring parties. He called for an end to hatred and revenge, saying they were the source of violence in the province.

The Zulu monarch did not attend Shaka Day celebrations held soon thereafter at Stanger, but gave them his blessing. Addressing the gathering, Chief Buthelezi called for an end to 'Zulus killing Zulus'. Referring to the meeting in mid-March attended by the king, President Mandela and himself to discuss the holding of an imbizo, he said this initiative needed to be followed through. 'There is no way we can leave incomplete that importance exercise which began in our king's palace on 15 March this year.' This was vital, he continued, if peace were to be achieved, for there could be no lasting rapprochement without 'reconciliation between the monarch and his amakhosi, and between the monarch and the members of the Zulu royal house'.

The Position of the Chiefs in KwaZulu/Natal

Tension rose further over the status and power of the chiefs in the province and, in particular, over an ANC proposal that the central government assume the payment of salaries to the amakhosi. In the viewpoint of the IFP, this proposal reflected a further attempt by the central government to usurp the powers accorded the provinces in the transitional constitution, which identified traditional authorities as a matter falling within provincial jurisdiction. It also reflected a blatant attempt by the ANC to undermine support for the IFP-its most important political opponent and rival.

Thus, though the ANC claimed to be concerned about ensuring uniformity across provincial boundaries in the payment of chiefs, its real motive, said the IFP, was to increase its control over the amakhosi in KwaZulu/Natal. This was reflected in what Mr Mandela told the ANC's supporters at a rally in Nqutu (northern KwaZulu/Natal) in May 1995, when the president stated that the move was 'directed at KwaZulu/Natal's 260 chiefs, who were overwhelmingly loyal to the IFP'. 'Whether they like it or not,' Mr Mandela made clear, 'each chief will receive his pay directly from me.'

Reacting to this statement, the IFP's member of the executive council (MEC) for nature conservation and traditional authorities in KwaZulu/Natal, Mr Nyanga Ngubane, accused Mr Mandela of 'behaving worse than his apartheid predecessors'. 'It is not right,' he continued, 'for him to dictate to us-he should at least have discussed the matter with us.' Mr Ngubane added that the proposed legislation violated the transitional constitution.

When the Remuneration of Traditional Leaders Bill-providing for the chiefs to be paid from Pretoria-was presented to the cabinet, the IFP objected strongly. It stated that the measure was both unconstitutional and contrary to the interests of traditional communities. It also queried the stated purpose of the bill-to provide uniformity in salaries-stating that the draft legislation made it possible for the president to 'differentiate between categories of traditional leaders' and to determine their remuneration accordingly. Chief Buthelezi said he would take the issue to the Constitutional Court if necessary, and described the proposal as immoral and an attempt by the ANC to 'emasculate the provinces'. Mr Ngubane stated in Ulundi (the capital of the former KwaZulu homeland) that KwaZulu/ Natal chiefs would 'lay down their lives to ensure their affairs continued to be administered by the province'.

The cabinet attempted to avert a confrontation by agreeing to consult provincial premiers and traditional leaders before proceeding further. A meeting for this purpose was held in late May, and those present endorsed a proposal by Mr Mandela that chiefs receive the same salary and entitlements as MPs. In the viewpoint of the IFP, however, the chiefs supporting the IFP perspective had effectively been unrepresented at the meeting, for those who had spoken on behalf of traditional authorities in the province had been Prince Sifiso Zulu, a spokesman for the Zulu king, and an ANC MP, Prince Mcwayizeni Zulu.

Chief Buthelezi said the meeting with traditional leaders had been 'farcical' and had undermined the credibility of the government. The IFP leader stated that those who had attended the meeting had been 'hand-picked', and KwaZulu/Natal's chiefs had not been invited. Chief Buthelezi added that there was 'widespread opposition to the bill among traditional leaders throughout South Africa' and that the legislation would 'transform chiefs into another organ of central government power', while violating constitutional guarantees of local government autonomy and undermining traditional societies.

The bill was approved by the cabinet in mid-June. The IFP accused the ANC of 'ramming through the measure, despite strong opposition from itself and most of the traditional leaders in KwaZulu/Natal'. The IFP gave notice that it might take the issue to the Constitutional Court for decision. The IFP also declared 'open cold war' against the ANC, and said it would now act on its threats of a passive resistance campaign. The campaign would be fought on two fronts: mass action on the ground and 'institutional conflict' through defiance of central government programmes.

At the end of June the Remuneration of Traditional Leaders Bill was approved by the Senate. The IFP complained that the measure had been 'steamrollered' through, 'after giving the public only 24 hours to make representations'. This was despite the fact that the ANC had agreed, in terms of revised rules yet to take effect, to a mandatory three-week period for public representations and consultation prior to the adoption of legislation by the National Assembly. The IFP said that the proposed rule amendment had 'a moral force' which the ANC was flagrantly ignoring. The IFP added that the bill required the input of the Council of Traditional Leaders (for which provision had been made in the transitional constitution, but which had yet to be established). The bill was also opposed by the Democratic Party (DP), which proposed that it be read six months hence-the strongest form of parliamentary rejection-and by the Freedom Front.

The bill was passed the next day by the National Assembly, once again in the face of strong opposition from the DP and the IFP. The IFP said that enactment would be unconstitutional without the bill's first being referred to the Council of Traditional Leaders for comment. The transitional constitution gave the council the right to comment on legislation of this kind, and if this entitlement were not respected it would give rise to 'a gross denial of natural justice'. Members of the National Party (NP) in KwaZulu/Natal said that they would support the provincial parliament in challenging the validity of the legislation before the Constitutional Court. Mr Tino Volker, an NP member of both the provincial legislature and executive council, said: 'If the national parliament is not stopped in its tracks at an early stage from undermining provincial powers, the process of erosion will continue until we are left with a majority rule dictatorship.'

The ANC sought to prevent the IFP challenging the validity of the bill by enacting in September an amendment to the transitional constitution. This provided that legislation affecting traditional leaders would have to be referred to the Council of Traditional Leaders only if this body was functional at the time.

Controversy surrounded the enactment of the constitutional amendment. Constitutional amendments require a two-thirds majority, and this was not obtained when the measure was first put to the vote because of the absence from Parliament of a number of MPs. Parliamentary rules provide that a rejected bill cannot be brought before Parliament in the same session, unless both houses agree otherwise. The ANC used its majority in the National Assembly and the Senate to secure the necessary approval for the bill to be presented again. The bill was passed a week after the first attempt at doing so, amid IFP objections-supported by the DP, the Freedom Front and the Pan-Africanist Congress (PAC)-that the ANC was 'effectively suspending the rules of Parliament'. An editorial in Business Day commented that the ANC, in 'tinkering in cavalier fashion' with the constitution and the parliamentary rules, had trampled on 'the spirit of the rechsstaat' that was supposed to characterise the new order.

In October the IFP sought to enact provincial legislation barring chiefs and the Zulu monarch from accepting central government remuneration. The ANC, DP and NP opposed the bills, and petitioned Dr Mdlalose-by the requisite one-third majority in the provincial legislature-to refer the measures to the Constitutional Court. The validity of the proposed provincial legislation was subsequently challenged before the Constitutional Court in May 1996, and judgement was given in early July.

In September IFP-supporting chiefs said they would hold a mass rally at the Union Buildings in Pretoria together with a number of ANC-aligned chiefs belonging to the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa). The purpose of the rally-to be held at the end of October-would be protest against the way in which the government was treating traditional leaders. The amakhosi warned that they would also institute Constitutional Court action to nullify recent amendments to the transitional constitution affecting traditional authorities.

As plans for the October protest rally by traditional leaders at the Union Buildings in Pretoria continued, chiefs were told to return by 31 October 1995 the weapons which had been issued to them by the former KwaZulu and other homeland administrations. Mr Ngubane said chiefs in KwaZulu/Natal did not object to handing back the weapons, but wanted the government first to confiscate the plethora of illegal weapons in the province. Mr Sydney Mufamadi, minister for safety and security in the national government, responded that chiefs would receive police protection until they were granted firearm licences, and that the processing of these would be expedited. An IFP spokesman, Mr Velaphi Ndlovu, said police would not be able to offer adequate protection, while Dr Mdlalose stated that a 'long list' of traditional leaders had been murdered in the province over the past few years and many more were still in danger.

The planned protest meeting by traditional leaders took place in Pretoria at the end of October, and the president of Contralesa, Chief Pathekile Holomisa, called for a boycott of the local government elections due to take place in most areas of the country on 1 November. (Contralesa subsequently declared local government elections in rural areas null and void and vowed to oppose newly elected councillors in rural villages, claiming that the people did not know them.)

Soon thereafter, at Contralesa's annual general meeting in November, it was announced that Chief Holomisa had been suspended from the organisation and barred from speaking to the press. He was also accused of 'other serious offences', including theft from Contralesa. Chief Holomisa responded that the meeting suspending him had been invalid, that the ANC was 'bedevilling relations' between him and Contralesa, and that he remained the latter's president. Contralesa, he later said, would gradually part ways with the ANC now that liberation had been achieved. 'We need to assert our independence as traditional leaders,' he stated.

In March 1996, tension between the central government and chiefs in KwaZulu/Natal rose further in response to the tabling of further legislation in Parliament. The bill in question would, inter alia, preclude individuals who were members of provincial or national legislatures from holding office in a council of traditional leaders, either at national or provincial level. The IFP said the measure was designed to force Chief Buthelezi to choose between his role in national government and his position as president of the House of Traditional Leaders in KwaZulu/Natal.

Following the meeting held with chiefs to discuss the proposed imbizo, Chief Buthelezi said Mr Mandela was placing the imbizo in jeopardy by threatening to ban the carrying of Zulu 'cultural accoutrements'. It was not these weapons but firearms, he said, which were being used to propagate the conflict in the province. Chief Buthelezi added that the ANC was bent on controlling KwaZulu/Natal from Pretoria, and aimed in part to do so by destroying the Zulu chiefs. 'There is an evil, compelling reason,' he said, 'for what the ANC is doing. It is evil at work which wants to destroy amakhosi and the autonomy of traditional communities to enable the central government in Pretoria to control every level of government and exercise its political influence right across the land.'

Also in March, Chief Holomisa was called to appear before the ANC's disciplinary committee on charges of having violated the party's code of conduct. He had done so, it was alleged, by leading a march of amakhosi 'against the president', Mr Mandela, and by publicly discouraging people from participating in the November local government poll. Responding to the summons, Chief Holomisa said the ANC was 'naive and unappreciative of the issues involved', and that his leadership of Contralesa spanned the political divide between the ANC and the IFP. He could not understand 'this persecution by the ANC'.

Chief Holomisa's view was endorsed by Contralesa itself, which issued a statement rejecting disciplinary action against its president by the ANC and reaffirming its confidence in him. It added that Contralesa would 'continue to fight for the institution of traditional leadership and for unity among traditional leaders irrespective of politics'. Notwithstanding this endorsement, the ANC's disciplinary committee ruled that Chief Holomisa be barred from holding a senior position in Parliament or ANC structures, that he forfeit his position as chairman of the National Assembly's Land Affairs Committee, and that he refrain from making any public statement diverging from ANC policies. Chief Holomisa's appeal against this decision to the national executive committee of the ANC was rejected.

A new constitutional text was adopted by the Constitutional Assembly on 8 May 1996 and contained, in the IFP's view, significantly fewer safeguards for traditional leaders and customary law than the transitional constitution had done. No provisions were made regarding the role and status of the Zulu monarch, or for the establishment of a national council of traditional leaders with the power to comment on or delay legislation affecting traditional leaders. All that the constitution said on the latter issue was that such a council might be established by national legislation, to deal with matters relating to traditional leaders and customary law. In addition, unlike the transitional constitution, the new text made no provision for traditional leaders to be ex officio members of local government structures.

The new constitution was criticised by chiefs in KwaZulu/Natal who vowed to resist it on the basis that it was an 'illegitimate, autocratic and totalitarian' document which did not recognise the sovereign kingdom of KwaZulu/Natal, or make sufficient provision for traditional leaders and communities. The constitution, they said, would turn KwaZulu/Natal into a 'puppet in the hands of Pretoria and Cape Town'. The chiefs called on Zulus to 'rise peacefully and resist the constitution with the same strength and impetus which characterised their struggle before the 1994 elections'.

The IFP and Contralesa subsequently objected to the certification of the new text by the Constitutional Court on the grounds that the powers accorded traditional leaders were inadequate and failed to comply with the relevant constitutional principles. The court, giving judgement in early September, dismissed these objections. It found that the constitution, by 'recognising' the institution, status and role of traditional leadership, 'subject to the constitution' and to 'any applicable legislation', gave 'express guarantees of the continued existence of traditional leadership and the survival of an evolving customary law'. This was all that was necessary in terms of the constitutional principles, and the Constitutional Assembly could not be faulted for having left the specifics regarding the role of traditional authorities to 'future social evolution, legislative deliberation and judicial interpretation'.

Chief Holomisa responded to the court's judgement by stating that traditional leaders 'respectfully disagreed' with its finding that the final constitution provided adequate protection for the institution of traditional leadership. Instead, he said, the new text placed traditional rule 'at the whim of political parties'. He called on chiefs around the country to attend a meeting, called the Unity Conference of Traditional Leaders of South Africa, to discuss the 'need for traditional leaders to unite, act and speak in one voice on matters relating to our people, the institution of ubukhosixvii and all that it stands for'. It was reported that the meeting would be attended by hundreds of traditional leaders, including those aligned to the ANC as well as the IFP, and that several kings were also expected to attend.

Addressing the meeting, which was held in Durban at the end of September and was attended by some 200 traditional leaders, Chief Buthelezi called on the government to stop 'meddling with traditional rule'. He said that continued action of this kind was capable of wrecking the country's fragile new democracy, and could create conflicts that would bring it to its knees. 'We must together find the strength to reject a constitution which does not protect traditional leaders and local government and requires no recognition for our indigenous law.' He urged the amakhosi to rise to the challenge ahead and resist those bent on destroying traditional leadership. 'We are not at liberty,' he continued, 'to relinquish the duties for which we were born.'

The IFP pressed thereafter for amendments regarding traditional authorities, but achieved little success in this regard.

In late May, another issue relevant to the amakhosi in KwaZulu/Natal had come before the Constitutional Court. This concerned the constitutionality of KwaZulu/Natal bills providing that traditional leaders and the Zulu monarch should be entitled to payment from the provincial administration alone, rather than from central government. Counsel for the ANC had contended that the payment of traditional leaders fell outside the legislative competence of KwaZulu/Natal. Provinces, the ANC had argued, had been authorised to legislate on 'traditional leaders' but this did not include the matter of their payment. Counsel for the KwaZulu/Natal administration had argued, on the other hand, that the power to legislate in this sphere included the ancillary capacity to pass laws relating to remuneration.

In early July, the Constitutional Court upheld the latter contention, unanimously dismissing the ANC's challenge to the validity of the bills. Mr Justice Arthur Chaskalson, president of the court, held that 'because laws dealing with the appointment and powers of traditional leaders were within the authority of the province, legislation providing for their remuneration was within the ambit of their power'. Judge Chaskalson noted that national and proposed provincial legislation were not so much concerned with the fixing of salaries and allowances, but with who had the right to pay traditional leaders. He upheld the right of the province to do so, but said it was unfortunate that the conflict in KwaZulu/Natal should have degenerated to such a state that this should have become an issue. Traditional leaders, he added, could serve their communities best if they were not dependent on political parties, or on provincial or national governments.

Notwithstanding this ruling, the ANC reiterated its determination that the amakhosi in KwaZulu/Natal should be paid from Pretoria. If the provincial administration tried to prevent this, warned the ANC, it would take further legal action. It would do so on the basis that national legislation on the matter was intended to 'bring about uniformity and maintain standards'. Hence, it was entitled to prevail over conflicting provincial law.

The Question of International Mediation

Hostility between the ANC and IFP on the issue of international mediation remained a significant factor contributing to conflict in 1995 and 1996. Such mediation had been provided for in the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation of 19 April 1994, between the ANC, the IFP and the NP. This had brought the IFP into the April 1994 general election and had provided for the role and status of the Zulu monarch to be adequately recognised, as well as for 'any outstanding issues' relating to the king and the transitional constitution to be referred to international mediation as soon as possible after the April election.

By January 1995 international mediation had not yet taken place, and the IFP called on the ANC to honour its agreement. In a letter to Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, secretary general of the ANC and chairman of the Constitutional Assembly, Chief Buthelezi proposed a special meeting to 'discuss when mediation should resume and how the work of the Constitutional Assembly should be readjusted to allow mediation to take place and to benefit from its results'. Agreement had been reached, he stated, between himself, Mr Mandela, and Mr F W de Klerk (the executive deputy president from the minority party) in December 1994 that 'the ball must be set rolling'. This could not happen, however, without an understanding of how the constitution-making process would accommodate mediation.

In early February Mr Ngubane stated that KwaZulu/Natal chiefs would boycott the local government elections unless the agreement on international mediation was honoured. 'We are amakhosi,' he said, 'and nobody will force us to do what we don't want to do.' The IFP also stated that registration for local government elections would not begin by the stipulated deadline of 3 February 1995 in areas under tribal jurisdiction.

Soon thereafter Mr Mandela, Mr de Klerk, and Chief Buthelezi confirmed-in the course of discussions during a cabinet meeting-that they would honour their pre-election undertaking. The IFP expressed confidence that international mediation would soon begin, and said that a committee had been established to work out the procedural details.

In mid-February, however, talks between the ANC, IFP, and NP on the terms of reference for international mediation ended in acrimony. Mr Mandela 'ruled out' international mediation regarding the status of the Zulu monarch, saying the king himself was now opposed to this.

The IFP thereafter decided to suspend its active participation in Parliament and in the constitution-making process while it sought a mandate from its followers on whether it could continue to participate in the government of national unity, given the breach of the mediation agreement. Leading the walkout of IFP members, Chief Buthelezi accused the ANC and NP of 'delays, gimmicks and deceptions' over the issue of international mediation and said that they had no intention of adhering to the agreement of 19 April. He added: 'Let us be blunt on this matter. Honour has been betrayed We feel this step is the only moral thing that is left for us.' The IFP said it would convene a special conference in early March to consider the matter, and that IFP ministers would, in the interim, continue to participate in the government of national unity in order to minimise disruption. 'ANC MPs clapped, ululated and shouted "bye" as the IFP representatives left.'

Elaborating on the reasons for the IFP's action, Chief Buthelezi said that his organisation had entered the election on the basis of the agreement of 19 April. 'It was because of the promise for international mediation that our constituency allowed and gave a mandate to the IFP to enter the election. With the breach of that agreement, the mandate that our parliamentarians received has exhausted its political viability. We are in a situation of total impasse, for each of the IFP MPs knows well that were it not for the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation we would not, and should not, be sitting in this house.' The IFP would thus seek a new mandate and, until it was received, was 'duty-bound to suspend active participation in parliamentary work and in the constitution-making process'.

Dr Sipho Mzimela, an IFP leader and the minister of correctional services in the national government, reiterated his party's concerns. A solemn accord had been entered into, and the IFP had told people it had signed an agreement with honourable gentlemen. Ten months later, however, nothing of substance had happened, and every attempt by the IFP to resolve the matter had been met with 'ridicule, disdain and racial arrogance'.

ANC spokesmen said that the government was considering increasing the deployment of security forces in the province, and was tired of the IFP's 'brinkmanship'. At a meeting between Chief Buthelezi, Mr de Klerk, and Mr Mandela thereafter, the president said each leader should discuss the issue with his constituency before further action was taken. The IFP said it could not predict how its constituency would react, and said it viewed the stringent security measures being implemented by Mr Mandela as a 'militaristic' approach to its demands.

At its special conference in early March the IFP resolved to return to Parliament and to give the government one further month to honour the agreement of 19 April. If this were not done, the IFP would withdraw from the Constitutional Assembly and would view as 'illegitimate' the constitution adopted through this process. Chief Buthelezi said he was prepared to give Mr Mandela and Mr Thabo Mbeki, the executive deputy president from the majority party, 'extra time' in which to negotiate a resolution. 'I want to assume they are men of integrity and will try to find solutions,' said Chief Buthelezi. The conference also resolved to resist interference in the province's affairs by the central government. The IFP further pledged to throw its weight behind the registration process for local government elections, but said it might contest the poll in urban areas only if disputes regarding the representation of traditional authorities in local government structures were not resolved.

Later in the month, Mr Mbeki dropped plans to meet the IFP for negotiations on the mediation issue, while Mr Mandela said that mediation seemed unnecessary-and that the necessary terms of reference had never been agreed. The IFP disputed this, and Chief Buthelezi wrote to Mr Mbeki reminding him of his promise to pay personal attention to the issue as a matter of urgency. Spokesmen for the IFP said Chief Buthelezi was perplexed at Mr Mandela's intervention. Mr Mbeki had been mandated to deal with the matter, and there was no need for Mr Mandela to comment. The IFP added that the ANC's failure to honour its agreement of 19 April had destroyed trust within the government of national unity, and that the organisation would have no choice but to withdraw from the Constitutional Assembly if no progress was made on the issue by early April. The IFP, a spokesman said, could not by its continued presence lend legitimacy to a process that 'would continue to fail to deliver a federal solution for South Africa'.

No progress was made on the issue of international mediation by 4 April, the deadline set by the IFP, and the organisation suspended its participation in the Constitutional Assembly. On 21 April the national council of the IFP met in Ulundi and endorsed the organisation's decision to withdraw from the Constitutional Assembly. It also suggested the establishment of a special task group to explore the possibility of a meeting on the issue between Chief Buthelezi, Mr de Klerk, and Mr Mandela.

An editorial in the Sunday Times stated that the reason for the ANC's intransigence on international mediation lay in its hostility to federalism. This, in turn, had been sharpened by its loss in the April 1994 election of two major provinces-the Western Cape and Kwa-Zulu/Natal. So long as the ANC had expected to win these provinces, it had been willing to tolerate some measure of provincial autonomy. Following its electoral defeat in these areas, however, it was determined to maintain strong central control. The editorial stated that-contrary to the ANC's claims-the terms of reference for international mediation had been agreed on 10 April 1994, and had not been affected by the dispute which later led to the failure of the mediation process.

The IFP held a rally in Umlazi on 27 April (the first anniversary of Freedom Day) at which Chief Buthelezi provided a list of failed efforts to get mediation off the ground, and asked whether Mr Mandela and Mr de Klerk could be trusted to honour any future constitution. He stressed that the IFP was not a violent organisation, but threatened that KwaZulu/Natal would 'rise and resist' the central government's plans from which 'great evil' would arise. Chief Buthelezi urged his supporters to 'fight for freedom, even if their lives depended on it, because it is not worth living if it is not to achieve our individual and collective freedom'. 'The true struggle for freedom and democracy,' he continued, 'has just begun. Our final victory in the struggle depends on the mobilisation of the people against the prevarication and arrogance of the ANC-controlled central government.' 'Let our friends and foes be warned,' the IFP leader added, 'that our great march to freedom has begun. No amount of intimidation, prevarication and violence can bend into submission the strength of Inkatha or undermine our determination to defend self-determination, freedom and pluralism.'

Mr Mandela responded by warning that he would cut off funds to KwaZulu/Natal,xxv while Mr Ramaphosa said the IFP was trying-through its demand for international mediation-to tamper with the agreed process for drafting the new constitution. Mr Mandela also called on the IFP to start by drawing up a provincial constitution for KwaZulu/Natal, as this might demonstrate that there was no need for international mediation at all. In late May, the ANC also invited the IFP to a bosberaad, where international mediation could be discussed. The main focus of the talks would fall, however, on exploring the matter of provincial autonomy-and on explaining the ANC's proposals in this regard.

An IFP spokesman welcomed the invitation and said the issue of provincial autonomy under the new constitution should top the agenda for the meeting. The IFP said it was prepared to be 'generous' towards the ANC, and would 'take it up on its stance that international mediation was unnecessary, and that the parties could resolve their constitutional differences without the help of foreigners'. However, if the IFP found that the ANC had not shifted in its opposition to strong provincial government, it would insist that the ANC honour its agreement regarding international mediation.

No bosberaad was held, however, and the issue of international mediation remained unresolved. In mid-November 1995-shortly before the publication of the first draft of the new national constitution-the NP said the ANC should agree to international mediation so as to open the way for the IFP to return to the Constitutional Assembly. Mr Pravin Gordhan, a senior member of the ANC and one of its principal negotiators, responded that the organisation was waiting for a signal from the IFP indicating that it wanted to do so. He added that, before mediation could be considered, a 'genuine effort' would have to be made to narrow and resolve differences over the content of a provincial constitution for KwaZulu/ Natal.

When the first draft of the new national constitution was published on 22 November 1995, the ANC sought to bring the IFP back into the Constitutional Assembly. Mr Ramaphosa said he planned to meet Chief Buthelezi to brief him on the process, while Mr Mbeki said it would be in the IFP's interests to return. Mr Walter Felgate, a senior member of the IFP, responded that his party welcomed any move towards reconciliation, but that international mediation would first have to be addressed as it remained a major stumbling block to the IFP's return.

Chief Buthelezi said he saw no purpose in meeting Mr Ramaphosa to discuss either the IFP's return to the Constitutional Assembly, or the draft text. Mr Ramaphosa, he said, was using him 'in a public relations exercise' designed to put the IFP leader in a bad light. Chief Buthelezi added that Mr Ramaphosa had scuppered endeavours at international mediation in the past, and had no real interest in pursuing it.

Mr Felgate reiterated that the IFP would return to the Constitutional Assembly only when international mediation had been completed. His organisation would not accept an undertaking from the ANC in this regard, as it did not trust the ANC to keep its word. The IFP's priority, he continued, was to complete the drafting of a provincial constitution for Kwa-Zulu/Natal, as this would make the issues on which mediation was needed 'crisp and clear'.

In January 1996, at a rally celebrating the ANC's 84th birthday, President Mandela also urged the IFP to return to the Constitutional Assembly. Chief Buthelezi responded that the call was not genuine, as the ANC had said on a number of occasions that it planned to finalise the constitution by May 1996-the deadline set by the transitional constitution-whether the IFP returned or not. It was 'absolute temerity', he added, for Mr Mandela-who had failed to honour his solemn agreement on international mediation-to try to adopt the moral high ground on the issue. In early February, the national council of the IFP confirmed that the IFP would not return to the Constitutional Assembly until international mediation had taken place.

Later in the month, Professor Washington Jalang'o Okumu, who had brokered the agreement of 19 April 1994, said a crisis was looming because the ANC had failed to honour the agreement. 'Morally, I think,' said Professor Okumu, 'Chief Buthelezi and the IFP have a point when they feel betrayed.' The undertakings given, he added, should surely have been adhered to-unless all three of the signatories had agreed the opposite. 'Unless this agreement is honoured, political killings will escalate,' Professor Okumu predicted. The IFP was not asking for independence for the province, he continued. Moreover, the terms of reference for international mediation recognised both that there should be a 'united South Africa with enough powers for the central government', and that account should also be taken of the 'pluralistic, multilingual and multi-ethnic nature of the society'. The ANC seemed to fear, he concluded, that international mediators would recommend increased powers for the provinces.

Following the adoption of a provincial constitution for KwaZulu/Natal in mid-March, the ANC again called on the IFP to return to the Constitutional Assembly. Chief Buthelezi rejected speculation that his party might return to the Constitutional Assembly on 8 May, the date scheduled for the adoption of the final constitution, in order to vote against this. The IFP's decision not to return to the assembly remained in force, he said. The IFP would abide by the new constitution, but would regard it as a dispensation 'imposed on it' by the ANC. 'I don't really think there can be stability and peace because of the non-inclusivity of the whole process,' he said. Dr Jiyane added that it would be unwise to conclude the constitution without the participation of the IFP, the third largest party in the country. 'The constitution should be representative of all people and it should be unifying,' he stated.

As the process of adopting the final constitution neared completion in late April, Chief Buthelezi said the draft text was inherently flawed. The language of the draft, he stated, was 'carefully chosen so as to put no obstacle in the path of the majority party seeking to establish a totalitarian autocracy in the country'. Checks and balances found in the transitional constitution had been removed, while the draft bill of rights-particularly in its socio-economic provisions-was intended to 'promote the deterioration of the country into a socialist-type of economy'.

Towards the end of April the ANC said it had made new concessions to the IFP, and had granted exclusive powers to the provinces under the final constitution. Mr Gordhan queried what reason the IFP could have, in the circumstances, for maintaining its boycott of the Constitutional Assembly. The IFP rejected the ANC's proposal, saying that it was 'totally unacceptable'. The exclusive powers the ANC proposed to give the provinces, said Mr Felgate, were 'normal for local authorities' and had no significance. In reality, he continued, the ANC's proposals allowed 'massive intervention by the state' in provincial affairs and severely constrained provincial autonomy. The powers accorded the provinces were fewer than those conferred on them by the transitional constitution, and thus fell foul of a constitutional principle prohibiting this. The Constitutional Court-which had to certify the final constitution as according with these principles-would thus be unable to do so.

The new constitution was adopted by the Constitutional Assembly on 8 May, in the absence of the IFP. While the ANC described the text as the 'birth certificate' of a new nation committed to equality and freedom, Chief Buthelezi said the new constitution was an 'Orwellian document that would lead to a one-party state'. The constitution threatened 'individual liberty, private enterprise, traditional leaders and customs, and the Zulu nation and their king'. It was the 'gravest threat to liberty in existence', and would intrude into private lives 'like a fog of tyranny choking and stifling the life of the nation'. It also removed provisions which could impair a 'socialistic takeover', and would 'encourage an entitlement society where people thought the world owed them a living'. In addition, it posed a threat to the Zulu monarchy-which it failed to mention at all-and to traditional leaders, customary law and communal tenure of land.

The IFP said it would challenge the new constitution before the Constitutional Court, on the basis that it breached the constitutional principle requiring that provincial powers should not be substantially less than those reflected in the transitional constitution. The council of provinces, which would replace the Senate, would have insignificant powers and national overrides would effectively undermine any element of provincial autonomy. The council of provinces, moreover, would effectively act as a court in ruling on disagreements between central and provincial governments-and its rulings would inevitably be political.

The Constitutional Court upheld some of the IFP's contentions in relation to provincial powers. It endorsed provisions relating to the proposed council of provinces, but also ruled that the new constitution had accorded the provinces a degree of power that was 'substantially less' than that reflected in the transitional constitution. This was because provincial powers had been restricted in relation to policing, tertiary education, traditional authorities and local government-while the grounds on which national statute could override provincial legislation had been extended.

The Constitutional Assembly reconvened later in September and unanimously agreed that it would address only eight issues identified by the Constitutional Court as requiring reformulation. It was also agreed that the assembly would complete the necessary redrafting by 11 October, so as to give the Constitutional Court time to certify the new constitution in 1996-and pave the way for its implementation as soon as possible in 1997.

The IFP had earlier said that it might return to the assembly if the court failed to certify the text, and its national council met later in the month to discuss this issue. It was resolved that the party should hold discussions with the ANC before making a decision, and a meeting for this purpose took place towards the end of September. Little progress was made, however, as the ANC insisted that only the issues identified by the court were open for renegotiation, and that the deadline set by the assembly would have to be met. The IFP, by contrast, sought a wider review of the new constitution and more time to consult with its constituency-particularly in rural areas.

The IFP thereafter decided that it would participate in the deliberations of two sub-committees established by the assembly to resolve the eight outstanding issues. Mr Felgate added that the IFP recognised that 'it would serve no purpose for all parties to attempt to renegotiate all the positions that they had had to relinquish for the sake of progress'. However, the court's ruling that provincial powers had been 'reduced substantially was an IFP victory', and it 'would be irresponsible for the party not to do what was possible to improve the constitution substantially'. Mr Felgate added that the IFP's decision to take part in the work of the sub-committees did not amount to a 'full or formal return' to the Constitutional Assembly. A decision to do this could be made only by the national council. The ANC welcomed the IFP's stance as 'wonderful news', and said it would give the IFP 'the benefit of the doubt and assume its participation would be positive and constructive'.

Taking its place in sub-committee discussions, the IFP gave notice that it was seeking increased provincial powers, greater protection for traditional authorities, and constitutional recognition for the Zulu monarch along the lines earlier proposed by the ANC at the Skukuza meeting in 1994. The ANC was subsequently reported as having agreed that new provisions aimed at 'restoring the dignity of the king and royal house of KwaZulu' should be included in the constitution, even though this issue had not been identified by the court as requiring re-drafting. No provisions to this effect were included in the final constitution, however.

The national council of the IFP subsequently decided that the party should cease its participation in the work of the two sub-committees. This followed a reaffirmation by the assembly of the 11 October deadline for adopting any amendments to the text, as well as its earlier decision to 'deal only with matters expressly referred back by the Constitutional Court'. This, said the IFP, had the effect of excluding the party's key concerns. It meant, said the chairman of the IFP's parliamentary caucus, Mr Ben Skosana, there was 'no point in pursuing negotiations within this forum'. The IFP would, however, continue bilateral negotiations with other parties.

Addressing a King Shaka celebration thereafter, Chief Buthelezi urged traditional leaders to form a stronger unity, and warned that the constitution ignored their importance in building up the country. It was not only the Zulu nation but South Africa as a whole, he said, that was held together by rural communities. 'We have no choice but to close ranks, and to stand up for the rights of our people in all rural communities by making to South Africa and the world the unequivocal statement that we shall be counted in the shaping of the new South Africa.' The restructuring of municipal government was threatening, he said, to destroy the laws and traditions of rural residents. 'I do not think,' he continued, 'that anyone can impose municipal arrangements in our amakhosi areas without our consent, and those who believe that they can change our national reality merely by writing one word after the other in a constitution we did not participate in, are really formulating a recipe for conflict.'

Mr Felgate said that if the assembly proceeded with the adoption of the final changes to the constitution on 11 October, it would show that it was 'a constitutional process not willing to wait for a multiparty settlement'. The IFP would boycott the vote, as it had on 8 May. He added that the IFP had not withdrawn from the assembly, as claimed by the ANC, as it had never formally rejoined it. It had merely participated in the meetings of the two sub-committees, and in bilateral negotiations, so that it could report more fully on the relevant issues to its national council, which would then decide whether the party should end its boycott of the Constitutional Assembly. The national council had not been satisfied, however, and had mandated the IFP to return and negotiate further before it made a decision. This had required an extension of time, however, which the ANC had not been prepared to accord.

On 11 October, the Constitutional Assembly adopted an amended constitutional text by a majority considerably in excess of the two thirds required. The IFP was not present for the vote, having rejected a supposed concession by the ANC to the effect that traditional leaders in areas where transitional local authorities had been established would remain entitled to ex officio representation on these bodies until 30 April 1999 or the enactment of legislation to the contrary. Chief Buthelezi rejected the provision as a 'constitutional fraud played on South African public opinion'. While the ANC had trumpeted its generosity to the IFP in including it, the reality was that the right to ex officio representation could be ended by legislation at any time. In addition, it would not apply at all to chiefs in rural KwaZulu/Natal, where transitional local government bodies had not yet been established. Moreover, the amakhosi in the province would not be able to benefit from the provision unless they accepted that elected primary structures should replace the centuries-old system of traditional authority. It was clear, accordingly, that the provision had been 'skilfully crafted to penalise traditional leaders in KwaZulu/Natal and to divide the unity of traditional leaders in South Africa'.

Addressing the annual conference of the Inkatha Women's Brigade at the end of October, Chief Buthelezi said he and the IFP had been 'demonised and vilified' for standing firm on demands for the devolution of political power during the drafting of the final constitution. The ANC had consistently refused to entertain its point of view, moreover, and had made it impossible for the IFP to participate in the final deliberations of the Constitutional Assembly by 'creating an impossible deadline which once again did not allow the IFP to table and discuss its constitutional concerns'.

As the work of the assembly had proceeded, so the ANC's determination to 'centralise the state and impose a new autocratic regime' had been made increasingly clear. Yet 'centralisation and autocracy would never be able to promote economic growth or to change for the better the lives of the majority'. The new constitution, on the contrary, would 'hinder the process of liberalisation' essential to growth, efficiency and effective delivery of services. The IFP would nevertheless continue to pursue bilateral negotiations with the ANC 'in order to seek a better constitutional framework'. 'No one predicted for many years,' continued Chief Buthelezi, 'that the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics would ever disintegrate. But in fact it crumbled in the late 1980s after a false existence of several decades. That is one of the reasons why we believe it makes sense to continue to negotiate with the ANC and other political parties.' In addition, the ANC would eventually be compelled to acknowledge that there was 'a necessary connection between its failure to deliver to the people of the country and the centralistic and autocratic framework of government it had adopted'.

A Provincial Constitution for KwaZulu/Natal

The IFP gave notice in early January 1995 that it intended to proceed with the drafting of a provincial constitution for KwaZulu/Natal. It also indicated that it wanted the provincial constitution to include a 'sunrise clause' reflecting the provincial powers the IFP wished to secure for KwaZulu/Natal. 'The sunrise clause,' said an IFP negotiator, 'will kick into operation in tandem with the passing of a more federal constitution at national level.' The IFP denied ANC allegations that it was intent on secession, stating that it wanted 'a kingdom within a republic' and a federal system similar to those in the United States, Germany, Canada and Australia. Mr Arthur Konigkramer, an IFP member of the provincial legislature (MPL) in KwaZulu/Natal, said this was necessary to prevent 'centralising tyranny and bring government closer to the people'.

At the IFP's special conference held in early March to review the impasse on international mediation, Chief Buthelezi said it was 'the primary responsibility of the IFP to promote federalism, self-determination and pluralism'. 'Our provincial constitution,' he continued, 'must contain a very clear statement outlining and detailing once and for all the demand for autonomy of the people of this region. To that end we shall also project, once again, an example for all the other parts of South Africa that wish to live under a system that limits the arrogance and overwhelming might of central government and which prevents the establishment of a one-party state.'

Towards the end of May, the ANC described a 20-point plan put forward by the IFP to assert provincial control and a number of functions accorded the KwaZulu/Natal administration by the transitional constitution as a 'diabolical plan' for secession. The IFP denied that the document was a blueprint for secession, or that its proposals were unconstitutional. The powers it sought, the IFP stated, were all powers which the province was entitled to exercise in terms of the transitional constitution. 'There is nothing in the document,' said Dr Mzimela, 'that the IFP or any province should be ashamed of.' 'The IFP has no other choice,' he added, 'than to strengthen the resolve to defend the freedom for which so many South Africans have died.' He accused the ANC of 'trying to intimidate provinces into not using even that little legislative autonomy to which they are entitled'. He added that the ANC had deliberately distorted the facts, and that 'this was part of a campaign to smear the IFP'.

At its 20th annual conference held in Ulundi in July, the IFP resolved that-if the existing provincial legislature in which it held a narrow 50,3% majority-failed to adopt a constitution for the province within a month, it would call an early election in a bid to achieve the two-thirds majority it needed to adopt a constitution in keeping with its 20-point strategy document. The resolution was criticised by the ANC, which said the IFP was 'preparing for armed secession' rather than heeding the plight of the unemployed in the province, or acting to combat crime and political violence.

The minority parties in the province-all of whose support the IFP needed to secure a two-thirds majority without the ANC-warned that they would vote against a constitution with which they disagreed. The leader of the DP in the province, Mr Roger Burrows, said the minority parties were 'closer to the IFP on the issue of provincial powers, but closer to the ANC on the role of traditional leaders'. In response, the IFP said all it sought by the end of August was the adoption of a set of constitutional principles which would form the basis for the constitution.

At the end of August, a Working Document on Constitutional Principles-known as the Fernhill agreement-was adopted by a two-thirds majority by the province's constitutional committee, under the chairmanship of Mr Konigkramer. This document reflected considerable compromise on the part of the IFP, for it gave the province fewer powers than the party would have wished. The IFP's national leaders rejected the agree ment, and stated that 12 constitutional principles earlier endorsed by the party should form the framework for the provincial constitution, and should be put forward for endorsement. The IFP's national council supported this view, and said it had decided to replace Mr Konigkramer as chairman of the constitutional committee with another IFP MPL, Mr Mike Tarr. Mr Konigkramer was also censured for departing from the mandate given to him by the negotiators. A new management team on constitutional issues was established, to be chaired by Mr Felgate.

As reports of divisions within the IFP intensified, Chief Buthelezi said he would resign if these could not be resolved. Speaking at a meeting in Nongoma in northern KwaZulu/ Natal, Chief Buthelezi stated that the ANC was intent on destroying the IFP, which it recognised as its only long-term opponent. To this end, he said, the ANC planned to undermine provincial autonomy and take control of all the powers and functions of the KwaZulu/Natal administration. It had already, he continued, taken away provincial competency as regards development, labour relations, education and the payment of traditional leaders, and was intent on taking control of communal land in the province as well. The only safeguard against this-as the party's annual general conference had recognised-was to 'restore the kingdom of KwaZulu/Natal' through an appropriately framed provincial constitution. The conference's decision, stated Chief Buthelezi, could not be undermined by people 'with their own private agendas'. The 12 constitutional principles should thus be put to the provincial legislature. If they were rejected, the IFP would pick up the gauntlet first thrown down by the ANC-which had said it wanted to 'deal with the IFP once and for all' through an early provincial election-and would call an election in KwaZulu/Natal to secure a fresh mandate for its perspective.

The IFP's 12 principles, contained in a green paper, called for the renaming of the province as the 'Kingdom of KwaZulu/Natal' and said this entity would be a 'federate' province of the Republic of South Africa. The rights and liberties guaranteed by the provincial constitution would be accorded special protection against central government encroachment, and the province would have its own bill of rights which would be interpreted and enforced by a provincial constitutional court. The deployment of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF)-which included within its ranks many former Umkhonto cadres-would require prior consultation with the provincial administration.

In addition, the province would be divided into regions, each with its own regional council comprising both elected representatives and also chiefs, who would hold membership on an ex officio basis. Regional councils would be responsible for a range of activities including local police, housing, health, public education and public works. The Zulu monarch would be given considerable powers, but would be able to exercise them only with the 'assistance and advice' of his council, which would be appointed primarily by the House of Traditional Leaders and the provincial legislature.

When the IFP called for a vote in the KwaZulu/Natal legislature on the adoption of the 12 principles as the foundation for a provincial constitution, opposition parties walked out, and no progress was made. The ANC later tabled an alternative constitution for the province, in which it rejected the IFP's sunrise provisions, gave central government all residual powers not expressly conferred on the provincial legislature, limited the role of traditional authorities in local government, and proposed that no person holding public office-such as Chief Buthelezi-would be able to preside over the House of Traditional Leaders.

The ANC also said it would have nothing to do with a constitution negotiated by the minority parties in the province to its exclusion, and warned that it would seek to exclude those other parties from national negotiations, if necessary. No progress was made on the provincial constitution, and in December a further obstacle to the adoption of the IFP's proposals arose when legal advisers stated that a number of provisions-particularly the 'sunrise' clauses-might be unconstitutional.

Thereafter, the IFP and NP drew up a new draft constitution, from which the IFP agreed to omit contentious issues such a provincial militia, judiciary, and constitutional court. It was also agreed that the government of provincial unity would remain in place until 1999, and that 'sunrise' clauses would be treated as 'aspirations' to be negotiated at national level. Mr Felgate said these clauses should be the subject of international mediation, which could then herald the IFP's return to the Constitutional Assembly.

The ANC rejected this new draft, however, and warned that it might withdraw from the negotiating process altogether. The PAC and other minority parties also objected to provisions in the draft for a 'council of state', in which the NP would be represented together with the ANC and IFP.xxxvi The impasse continued, and in January 1996 the IFP said it would push for a vote to be taken on a 'base' document providing for an elected council of state, a constitutional monarch, significant powers for traditional authorities, and the establishment of a provincial constitutional court to interpret and enforce a provincial bill of rights.

The ANC again rejected the IFP's proposals, and suggested instead that all controversial issues be left out of the base document. This could then be accepted by the provincial legislature and could serve as the foundation for further negotiations. The IFP's demand for greater provincial powers, it said, should be placed before the provincial legislature in the form of a resolution, which could 'then be used at the Constitutional Assembly to negotiate such powers'. The IFP dismissed the ANC plan as 'cheap politicking'.

As tensions increased, the minority parties expressed reluctance to endorse a provincial constitution which did not have the support of the ANC. The NP was reported to be under pressure from the ANC, on the basis that it expected ANC co-operation in national negotiations but was intent on excluding the ANC in KwaZulu/Natal so as to strike an agreement with the IFP. The DP said the ANC was the second largest party in the province and its opposition to a constitution would result in 'continued trouble'.

As the impasse continued, the pressure on the IFP to compromise further increased. An IFP source said the party was becoming desperate to conclude a constitution, as it feared that further delays would see the provincial constitution-making process overtaken by the national one. Pending the adoption of the national constitution, the provincial constitution was obliged to conform with the transitional constitution only. Once the new national constitution was in place, however, the constitution in KwaZulu/Natal would have to conform with this instead.

At the end of February, legal advisers again warned that many provisions of the proposed draft might be found unconstitutional, particularly the 'sunrise' clauses and those providing for a provincial constitutional court and council of state. The ANC again proposed that contentious issues be left out, and negotiated further in the future. Mr Felgate urged the ANC to allow the IFP to adopt a full provincial constitution on 14 March, the date on which the draft was to be put to the legislature for endorsement by the necessary two-thirds majority. 'If we do not adopt one,' he said, 'this province will not have a constitution and will be left only with what central government decides it can have.'

On 11 March the ANC and IFP reached deadlock in bilateral negotiations, when the IFP rejected an ANC proposal that the constitution be split into two. One part would incorporate agreed provisions, while a second, in the form of two schedules, would deal with disputed issues. An IFP spokesman said that the effect of the ANC proposal would be to 'disembowel' the constitution. The IFP once again sought the support of the minority parties for its preferred draft, but encountered opposition from the DP on the role of traditional authorities in local government, and from the PAC on the inclusion of property guarantees in the province's bill of rights.

The IFP stated that its proposed draft had many positive features distinguishing it from the national draft. It allowed the provincial government to limit fundamental rights only if this was necessary, whereas the national constitution would allow infringement of guaranteed rights where this was 'reasonable', taking into account considerations such as 'dignity, equality and freedom'. The provincial draft, moreover, entrenched property rights, and balanced these by a land commission to resolve land disputes. It recognised the right to economic initiative and enterprise, and promoted privatisation. It provided for the annual balancing of the provincial budget, and included limited socio-economic rights which were 'honestly framed and qualified'. It gave traditional authorities 50% of representation, on an ex officio basis, in local administrations and thus made it possible for the role of chiefs to be decided by traditional communities themselves. It accorded the central government exclusive authority over 30 specified functions, and provided for national framework legislation to lay down guiding principles for provincial legislation on matters needing national co-ordination. It would cater, said the IFP, for an 'asymmetric but united South Africa' and lay the foundation for a 'social state rather than a socialist state'.

The ANC warned that the province might suffer if it adopted a constitution without the ANC's support. The minority parties again refused the IFP the support it needed to enact the draft without the endorsement of the ANC, and the IFP was again obliged to seek this. Bilateral negotiations with the ANC continued, and finally yielded agreement on 15 March.

In terms of this accord, sunrise provisions would be included as part of the constitution itself, rather than in a schedule, but would not be brought into operation unless authorised in the final national constitution-with which the provincial constitution would have to comply. In addition, various other contentious issues-though included in the text-would not be brought into effect except with specified levels of support from the legislature, ranging from 40% to two thirds. Some clauses would remain subject to review by a constitutional commission to be established, or would require reference to the House of Traditional Leaders. A last-minute demand by the NP that power-sharing be accommodated was dealt with through an IFP undertaking that the constitutional commission would negotiate this in the future.

On this basis, the constitution was adopted on 15 March with the support of all parties-and Dr Mdlalose hailed this as a 'new hope for peace'. It was significant, said the IFP, that 'for the first time in the history of South Africa a constitution had been adopted which was drafted in the idiom of federalism and pluralism'. The IFP said it would continue its constitutional struggle to promote these concepts both in the province and in the country as a whole.

Though some 50 contentious issues in the text remained to be resolved-and provisions relating to them could not be brought into operation until this had been done -the IFP denied that it had capitulated to the ANC. Mr Felgate said the IFP's concession that the provincial constitution would have to conform with the final national constitution was not particularly important, as the powers accorded provinces by the final national constitution could not be 'substantially less' than those contained in the transitional constitution. He added that the ANC's agreement to include the sunrise clauses in the body of the constitution, rather than in a schedule, was a significant breakthrough. The IFP caucus was reported to be dissatisfied with the outcome, however, and the DP said the agreement was important in just two respects-'the IFP had a document and the ANC had managed to defer the contentious clauses'.

The text was referred to the Constitutional Court for certification in accordance with the requirements of the transitional constitution. Both the ANC and NP objected to certification on various grounds, and in September the court ruled unanimously that the text did not qualify for certification because the powers it sought exceeded those accorded the provinces by the transitional constitution.

The Shell House Issue

Tension between the ANC and IFP rose further in early June 1995 when Mr Mandela-after being 'harried by the DP and NP in the Senate'-acknowledged that he had given ANC security guards at Shell House (the organisation's national headquarters in Johannesburg) instructions to kill, if necessary, to protect the building from IFP supporters marching through the city in support of King Goodwill Zwelithini's call for a sovereign Zulu kingdom. Mr Mandela was not present at Shell House on the day of the IFP's protest march on 28 March 1994. His mandate to ANC security guards at the ANC headquarters had, however, been clear: 'I gave instructions to our security that if they attacked the house, please you must protect that house-even if you have to kill people.' At least eight Zulus were killed outside the building on a day of mayhem in which some 60 people, in total, were killed and 300 injured. Most of those killed, stated the Sunday Times, were 'members of the Inkatha movement'.

The IFP said in response that it was shocked at Mr Mandela's admission. The parliamentary caucus of the IFP added that Mr Mandela had formed and headed Umkhonto, 'which was responsible for more than 11 000 deaths among IFP leaders and supporters, as well as hundreds of supporters of the PAC and Black Consciousness Movement. In fact, MK [Umkhonto] killed more black people in its so-called armed struggle than the troops of the enemy it was supposed to be fighting. As commander-in-chief of this murderous gang of assassins, the president has more blood on his hands than any other South African alive today'.

The leader of the Conservative Party (CP), Dr Ferdi Hartzenberg, said Mr Mandela's admission placed a whole new perspective on his role in the Shell House incident. 'He not only gave the instruction that people could be shot, but also gave the instruction that the police would not be allowed into Shell House in terms of a legally issued warrant.' The CP leader rejected the ANC's assertion that the shooting had been in self-defence, saying that this was 'an absolute violation of the truth'. 'In this case,' Dr Hartzenberg continued, 'the IFP procession moved in a street from which there was no entrance to Shell House. There was thus no threatening danger.'

In a parliamentary debate called the following week to review the president's statement, Mr Mandela said his instruction had simply reflected the common law right of self-defence. The NP, in an unprecedented personal attack on the president, queried why he had remained silent for so long about his role in the shootings. IFP speakers were generally restrained, only Dr Jiyane openly attacking the ANC and its president, and saying that Mr Mandela should resign. He said the ANC was 'the common denominator in all the violence in South Africa'. The IFP also stated that 'there was conclusive evidence that Shell House was not attacked and that there was no need to defend it'. 'We must know instead,' Dr Jiyane continued, 'why ANC snipers were placed in strategic sites from which an ambush was staged.' The DP focused on the ANC's response to the Shell House massacre, querying why the ANC had blocked police investigation of the killings for so long. Though Chief Buthelezi did not speak in the debate, he had earlier stated, at a rally in KwaZulu/Natal, that Mr Mandela had placed more value on the Shell House building than on human lives.

Opposition party demands for a judicial commission of inquiry into the shootings were dismissed by the ANC. Mr Mandela said current police investigations were satisfactory, and that he did not think the parties calling for a commission were serious about it. 'I don't think they meant it seriously,' he said, referring to opposition calls for a judicial commission. The DP, IFP, and NP all rejected the assertion that a judicial commission was unnecessary. 'Opposition parties are united, and very serious in their insistence on a judicial commission of inquiry,' said an NP spokesman.

Mr de Klerk, commenting on the issue, said that the ANC was attempting to shift the blame to others, including himself, and that he rejected this 'with contempt'. Proper precautions had been taken, he said, and 'the comprehensive measures taken by the police had not been questioned by the ANC's legal team before the Goldstone commission'.

In mid-June an article in Rapport stated that members of the ANC who had been present in Shell House at the time of the shooting had since been appointed police officers. Rapport revealed that at least one of those persons now held a senior position in the police. This was Major General Leonard Radu, who had been appointed as head of internal investigations in the crime investigation unit. At the time of the Shell House shootings, Gen Radu had held a senior position in the ANC and in its Directorate of Intelligence and Security. Police spokesmen told Rapport that the ANC had still not co-operated in full with the investigation, and that they doubted if anyone would ever be prosecuted.

The police docket relating to the shootings was handed to the deputy attorney general of the Witwatersrand, Mr Kevin Attwell, on 1 September 1995, almost 18 months after the event. The police said the docket was not entirely complete, as statements had not yet been obtained from some 'prominent persons', including Mr Mandela. Mr Attwell said he had appointed two senior counsel to work on the docket, and that a decision on prosecution would-if the evidence pointed to particular individuals-be made within a month. If the evidence did not identify particular suspects, the matter would be dealt with by inquest.

By mid-November, no decision had been made by Mr Attwell in relation to the Shell House killings. A police investigating team established by his office said the docket had been 'fairly extensively investigated', but that various aspects still required further investigation. The nature of these aspects could not, however, be disclosed. Soon thereafter, it was reported that Mr Mandela had refused to make a statement to the investigators. An editorial in The Citizen stated that 'a large number of ANC members had been identified on videos on the day of the massacre, but had refused to co-operate with the police in their investigations'. It called on both the ANC and the IFP to give their full co-operation to the investigators, so that prosecutions-if warranted by the evidence-could proceed and the impartiality of the administration of justice be confirmed.

In February 1996, it was reported that Mr Mandela had made a statement to the attorney general, but that investigation remained incomplete. Statements were still awaited from 'the ANC, the IFP and the SAPS [South African Police Service] itself', and it remained necessary to trace some 400 people who had been treated for injuries on 28 March 1994 in order to obtain their testimony.

The IFP said it would hold a march in Johannesburg on 28 March 1996 to commemorate the killings outside Shell House. The secretary of the IFP in Gauteng, Mr Musa Myeni, said between 60 000 and 80 000 people were expected to attend the planned prayer meeting which would be accompanied by the laying of wreaths where IFP marchers had died. The IFP made it clear that the protesters would carry cultural accoutrements, notwithstanding a recent ban on the display of dangerous weapons. Mr Ed Tillet, a spokesman for the IFP, said the ban on traditional weapons was being used by the ANC 'as a pretext to justify the implementation of oppressive strong-arm measures to paralyse and immobilise IFP dissent'. Chief Buthelezi also condemned the ban, and said that police would do better to concentrate on illegal firearms than 'to expend time and energy removing cultural accoutrements'. 'That ban was really a faux pas,' he said, 'because the people killed are killed through firepower, through the barrel of a gun.'

An IFP MP, Mr Themba Khoza, claimed he had been informed by four high-ranking ANC members that the government and the ANC were 'working together to repeat the horror of the Shell House massacre'. He had been informed, he said, that former members of Umkhonto together with elements in the police and SANDF planned to provoke the marchers into attacking. A unit assigned to provoke the Zulus, he added, would move among pedestrians and onlookers, while snipers would be in place on buildings along the route to gun down the marchers when they reacted.

Ms Cheryl Carolus, the deputy secretary general of the ANC, denied Mr Khoza's allegations, and said the ANC would consider bringing a claim for defamation against him. 'The intention of the march,' she stated, 'is to precipitate conflict and fear'-and those who encouraged violation of the law, she warned, would 'face the full might of the security forces'. Mr Tillet said the ANC had created a 'climate of hysteria' around the march, which was no different from events to mark the Sharpeville massacre and the Soweto revolt. If police were overzealous in removing traditional weapons, however, this could spark a tragedy of 'devastating proportions'.

On 28 March some 12 000 IFP supporters marched through Johannesburg, many brandishing spears, and a few carrying firearms. Some 3 000 police and troops were deployed in the city. The march was peaceful, and evoked praise for the protesters from the police. 'The organisers and the majority of the marchers were disciplined and showed good spirit throughout the march,' said the commissioner of the SAPS in Gauteng, Mr Sharma Maharaj.

Police said they seized 13 assegais and an axe from one group. In general, however, witnesses said the police seemed reluctant to intervene. One police sergeant said that 'confiscation and arrests became questionable when the march was going along peacefully'. 'We know these people,' he continued, 'and they know we are in control of the situation. All they want to do now is sing and dance while marching. Unless something unforeseen happens, they are unlikely to cause trouble, sharpened sticks or not.' Other policemen agreed, and said 'it was one thing to disarm one or two people, but it became an entirely different matter when a crowd was involved'. Some of the marchers carried placards condemning Mr Mandela. 'Mandela deserves a death sentence,' said one, while another read 'Mandela is a killer'. As the protesters left the Library Gardens, Mr Khoza said 'the day's peace was thanks to his blowing the lid on the ANC and government's sabotage plans'.

In Umlazi, however, it was reported that four people had been killed and six injured on the day of the march. According to the police, three people were killed when gunmen fired on train commuters, and a fourth person was killed in an IFP stronghold in the township. The IFP denied ANC claims that its members were responsible for the deaths. Marches were held without incident in various other towns in the province, including Empangeni (in northern KwaZulu/Natal) and Pietermaritzburg.

On the same day as the IFP march, the office of the attorney general in the Witwatersrand said the investigation into the Shell House massacre was continuing, while another into the deaths at Park Station and the Library Gardens was close to completion. These areas, together with Lancet Hall-the ANC's regional headquarters in Johannesburg-were the main localities under investigation. 'This is a priority crime,' said a spokesman, 'and we have been doing our utmost to get the docket processed.' All reported cases from various police stations had had to be tracked down, however, as well as all other cases which had not been reported. This had involved perusing the hospital records of medical institutions in and around Johannesburg to identify some 400 possible victims. Mortuary records had also had to be explored to establish whether there were other deaths which could be linked to the incidents of the day. On-site inspections of specific scenes had also been undertaken. In the circumstances, it was unclear when the investigation would be finalised.

An editorial in The Star said the truth regarding the Shell House killings had long been buried and was unlikely to come out. This was remarkable, it said, for the shootings had taken place in the middle of Johannesburg and in full view of scores of policemen. Two years later, however, no one had been arrested and no inquest had been held. 'The reasons,' it continued, 'are simple: the extraordinary behaviour of the police and the obstruction of justice by the ANC.' Elaborating, it continued:

Shortly after the shootings the police tried to gain entry into Shell House. They were barred by security guards. No weapons were seized, no guards tested for gunpowder residue, no ballistic tests made, no list of people in the building compiled, no statements taken the police just walked away. Worse was to come.

The next day police obtained a search warrant, but Nelson Mandela refused to let them execute it. The investigation was then marked by broken ANC promises; by the handing over of weapons in dribs and drabs; by allegations that scores of MK guards had been spirited away into the army; by the ANC deciding who it would identify to the police the dossier goes on and on.

The editorial urged the attorney general to clarify whether the outcome of investigations was still unsatisfactory. If this were so, he should call for a judicial commission of inquiry. This should be given wider powers than a court, and should at least have the capacity to 'probe and comment on the dubious motives and inexcusable behaviour of all those who had helped turn the day into a shameful mockery of justice'.

Addressing a rally in Gauteng on Freedom Day (27 April), the chairman of the IFP Youth Brigade in the province, Mr Thabani Dlamini, said the ANC was proving, in many ways, to be 'merely a successor to the repressive apartheid government'. This cast a pall over what was meant to be a day of celebration. Particularly important in this regard, he said, was the ANC's conduct in relation to the Shell House massacre. 'In our new country,' Mr Dlamini continued, 'where justice is supposedly for all and all are equal before the law, we find that the ANC and its killers are more equal than others. Two years after the killing of Zulu marchers in the streets of Johannesburg, the ANC is still trying to prevent justice and still has excuses as to why they will not identify or hand over those who did the killing.'

In July, the senior SAPS officer investigating the shootings, Director Neville Thoms, said the ANC had a 'lackadaisical attitude' in relation to the matter, and had not yet handed over more than 100 weapons which the police needed for ballistic tests. In September an NP MP and the party's spokesman on safety and security, Mr André Fourie, asked Mr Mufamadi in Parliament 'whether any political party was being held responsible for hampering the investigation by the SAPS' and 'the institution of prosecutions by the attorney general'. Amid 'raucous jeers and laughter from the ANC benches', Mr Fourie asked what the organisation was hiding, and quoted Mr Thoms as having said that he was being 'hampered by political meddling'. Mr Mufamadi responded that the matter was in the hands of the attorney general, and investigations were not yet complete. Hence, no finding could be made that investigation was being thwarted by a political party.

The Citizen commented in an editorial that investigation was taking 'an inordinately long time'. It said that whatever affidavits had already been obtained should be used to 'deduce evidence of wrongdoing at Shell House', and to institute prosecutions where necessary. 'The ANC and the government dare not allow the matter to be dismissed or forgotten,' it continued, for 'it remains a major test of even-handed justice.'

The NP said the ANC's attitude was 'completely inexcusable'. 'The ANC is always the first to scream about justice and fairness,' it stated, 'but once again a blind eye is turned to their own errors of the past. The issue is becoming even more of an embarrassment to the South African legal system because President Mandela was personally involved in the incident. It is time the ANC came clean about the matter, so that the members of the SAPS who have been struggling with the case for more than two years can be employed on other cases. The ANC will have to learn that the Shell House massacre will not just disappear if they keep quiet about it.'

Later in the month, Mr Mufamadi stated-in response to a question in Parliament tabled by a party colleague-that the last batch of weapons had been handed over to the police on 24 July 1996. The IFP described this as 'outrageous', for justice had depended on adequate ballistic tests. 'There is no certainty now,' said Mr Felgate, 'that the weapons handed in are the same weapons that were in Shell House in March 1994.' President Mandela, he charged, was 'running the country in the interests of the ANC and not the nation'. Mr Tony Leon, the leader of the DP, said the weapons were 'useless for ballistic testing two months after the incident, let alone two years', and that it was clear that there would 'never be a full account of what had happened at Shell House'.

At the time of writing, investigations into the Shell House killings had still not been completed, and no prosecution or inquest had yet been initiated.

Pending Local Government Elections

Underlying the growth of tension in the province in 1995 and early 1996 were the pending local government elections-initially due to be held on 1 November 1995, and subsequently postponed in KwaZulu/Natal to 29 May and thereafter to 26 June 1996. Though the polls ultimately took place in relative peace, tension rose over various issues in the run-up to the elections. Incidents of violence also increased, until a peace initiative launched in May 1996 witnessed a reduction in political killings in the final weeks of electioneering.

In March 1995, the ANC stated that traditional authorities were not true local governments as they were not democratic. New rural authorities should accordingly be elected, in which the amakhosi would constitute one of a number of interest groups and their representation would be confined to 10% of the total representation on any rural council.

The IFP's MEC for local government and housing in the province, Mr Peter Miller, said this would be in conflict with the transitional constitution, and would lead to 'a mighty stand-off' between KwaZulu/Natal and the central government. 'Any attempt to limit the constitutional rights of traditional leaders will be fought tooth-and-nail,' he said. (According to the transitional constitution, a traditional leader residing within the jurisdiction of an elected local government is entitled, ex officio, to be a member of that local government.)

Amendments to the Transitional Local Government Act reflected the ANC's position on the issue, and identified the amakhosi as one of several interest groups, which also included farm labourers, land owners, and women. The amendments stated, in addition, that a maximum of 10% of the total representation on any rural council would be accorded traditional leaders. Mr Miller said he was investigating a Constitutional Court challenge to the amendment act on the basis that it would strip chiefs of the right to representation on local bodies which had been accorded them by the transitional constitution. 'The IFP denounces the fact that this central government action is specifically inspired by the desire to reduce provincial autonomy and to undermine the long-term viability of traditional communities,' the party's national council stated.

Earlier, an article in Business Day had stated that the ANC had reason for concern regarding the outcome of the local poll in the province. It lacked compelling leadership in KwaZulu/Natal, for some of its key leaders had died, while others had become involved in national politics. Moreover, the ANC's organisation in KwaZulu/Natal was 'enfeebled and in disarray'.The ANC had also suffered a setback in that the IFP had won control over all the transitional local councils established in the province except for Pietermaritzburg. This meant that 'the ANC had had very little opportunity to run local government' and this, in the words of the ANC's only mayor, Mr Rob Haswell of Pietermaritzburg, 'gave the opposition a propaganda advantage'. Moreover, some 40% of the electorate in the province were to be found in rural areas, living in areas which were effectively 'no-go' for the ANC and under the sway of chiefs supportive of the IFP.

At the end of July, the ANC stated that it would not be possible to hold local government elections throughout the country on 1 November, as originally envisaged. Difficulties regarding demarcation of local government boundaries and other issues meant that the local polls would have to be postponed in KwaZulu/Natal and the Western Cape. This was contrary to the terms of the transitional constitution, which provided that all areas of the country should hold local polls on the same day. To overcome this difficulty, the constitution was amended to this effect in terms of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Second Amendment Act, promulgated in September 1995.

The ANC also said it would enact legislation giving central government jurisdiction over areas where local government elections had not been held by 31 March 1996, and where it had thus become clear that the provincial administrations in question had 'neither the capacity nor the will' to hold local polls. The IFP said it was horrified by this proposal-subsequently reflected in an amendment of the Local Government Transition Act of 1993-as it would result in the dissolution of local councils and strengthen the land of central government yet further.

In early October, Mr Miller proposed that local polls in KwaZulu/Natal be held on 27 March 1996, but warned that elections could not take place until disputes over boundaries had been resolved. These disputes would be referred to an Electoral Court, which would also have to decide on whether tribal areas should be included in urban areas for the elections. Mr Miller said the inclusion of tribal areas in urban areas was a complex issue which required widespread consultation with chiefs, especially as the province's House of Traditional Leaders had earlier rejected such inclusion. In addition, the status of the amakhosi in local government remained in dispute, for the ANC had rejected the recommendations of the provincial administration that chiefs be responsible for nominating 50% of the representatives on rural local councils.

At the end of October, Mr Miller announced that voter registration would be re-opened throughout the province for the whole of November 1995, to boost registration figures. He hoped, he said, that the registration average for the province as a whole would rise to 80%, making it the highest in the country. The ANC responded that it would hold a protest march in Durban on 1 November, as the IFP 'kept putting forward obstacles that placed the March 27 date in jeopardy'.

In the local government elections held in most areas of the country on 1 November, the ANC won the majority (61,73%) of some 7 400 local government seats under contest. Addressing an election rally in KwaZulu/Natal thereafter, Chief Buthelezi said the local government polls still pending in the province were 'a matter of life and death' for the IFP. The party dared not fail in its mission to win the province by an overwhelming majority. 'The battle for KwaZulu/Natal,' he stated, 'is becoming the battle for freedom and democracy in South Africa. An IFP defeat will open the doors to increased violence against IFP supporters. An overwhelming victory, however, will be the door through which we can secure the autonomy of our province, and the survival of the Zulu nation.' 'If we fail,' he added, 'the entire cause of freedom, democracy and pluralism in South Africa will fail.'

Responding to statements by Mr Mufamadi that security would be increased in the province to create a climate conducive to 'free and fair elections', Chief Buthelezi stated that 'the ANC would try anything to win power in KwaZulu/Natal' in the local poll. 'The ANC knows,' he said, 'that until it has won KwaZulu/Natal, it has not truly won South Africa Unless the ANC controls KwaZulu/Natal there will always be one solid bastion of political opposition.' Because of this, he continued, the ANC would do everything it could to win, from 'maximising the use of President Mandela down to registering non-KwaZulu/Natal residents as voters'.

In late November, the Electoral Court found in favour of the IFP's position on the inclusion of tribal areas within local authorities in Durban, Richards Bay, Empangeni, and other urban areas. The court ruled that there had not been enough consultation with local traditional leaders on the issue. Cognisance had to be taken, said Mr Justice J W Smalberger, of the fact that the affected traditional authorities and the House of Traditional Leaders in KwaZulu/Natal had opposed incorporation.

In the same month, the government decided that local polls in both KwaZulu/Natal and the Western Cape should be held on the same day. While KwaZulu/Natal had earlier proposed to hold its local polls on 27 March 1996, the Western Cape had proposed 22 May for the holding of elections in the Cape Metropole and in some rural areas. The local government election date for both provinces, it was announced, would be 29 May 1996.

In early February 1996, as the scheduled election date came closer and incidents of violence increased, the security forces in KwaZulu/Natal said special precautions would have to be taken, in conjunction with the SANDF, to keep the situation under control. The commissioner of police in the province, Mr Chris Serfontein, blamed the escalation in conflict on the ANC and IFP, who were 'trying to gain political control over the whole province'.

In February, the holding of local polls in rural areas was thrown into jeopardy when the ANC vetoed the IFP's proposal-based on the terms of the transitional constitution-that all chiefs be given ex officio representation in the seven regional councils proposed for rural areas. The ANC said no chief should have automatic representation, especially in a province where traditional leaders were IFP supporters, and would be used by the IFP to dominate local government in rural areas. The dispute was finally resolved by agreeing to divorce the issue of whether or not traditional leaders were entitled to ex officio representation on rural councils from the administrative and technical procedures necessary for the elections to proceed. 'The outstanding issues relating to the amakhosi and their entitlement to serve on regional councils would be the subject of separate proceedings,' said Mr Miller, 'which would probably be taken to the Constitutional Court.'

In April the ANC called on the central government to postpone local elections in Kwa-Zulu/Natal. This was necessary, it said, because of irregularities in voters' rolls, intensifying violence, and the fact that IFP-supporting chiefs controlled all aspects of the preparations for the elections. Dr Frederick Van Zyl Slabbert, co-chairman of the Local Government Elections Task Group responsible for organising the local polls, said the problems raised were not unfamiliar, and 'preparations in KwaZulu/Natal were on a par with those in provinces which had held elections on 1 November'. The difference, he added, was that KwaZulu/Natal had a 'very serious political problem'. Mr Miller, the DP, the IFP, and the NP opposed a postponement. An IFP spokesman said the party faced problems similar to those of the ANC, but believed that 'the sooner we get the election behind us, the sooner we can go forward'.

Mr Mandela-having initially rejected postponement-said later that fatalities were increasing in the province and were likely to continue doing so as the elections came nearer. In addition, the security forces had not yet been given enough time to bring the violence under control. They had done so in the Shobashobane area by focusing their attention on one locality and then 'rounding up all the warlords and police committing violence'. This approach needed to be extended to other flashpoints as well before the local polls could take place.

Dr Jiyane said that the ANC 'had come up with the only strategy known to them, to try and hoodwink the authorities into postponing these elections'. 'I have a simple message for Zuma,' he continued. 'You can run but you cannot hide.' IFP intelligence indicated, he added, that the ANC wanted the postponement because its structures were badly organised and morale among its candidates was low. 'The ANC are in a panic,' he said, 'because they know they are going to lose this election, and they fear they are going to lose badly.' Mr Miller conceded that there were problems in the run-up to the elections, but said the 'consequences of postponing them would be so serious that by comparison they made the task of solving the present problems pale into insignificance'.

Chief Buthelezi unequivocally rejected any staggering or postponement of the polls. 'I am totally and utterly opposed,' he said, 'to any postponement or staggering. We fear there will be further problems and the bloodshed will become worse.' The 1994 election had passed peacefully in the province, he added, despite levels of violence and intimidation which had been far worse. The NP said postponement could cost taxpayers up to R20m, and that the ANC would be responsible for this waste of funds. The ANC's call was intended to 'cause confusion and disruption in a non-ANC province'. 'The ANC has lost all credibility with voters in KwaZulu/Natal,' it said, 'and being afraid of losing the elections is quite natural, but no reason for postponement.'

The ANC reiterated that there were massive irregularities in voters' rolls and cited the roll in Ulundi by way of illustration. The IFP denied the allegations, and Dr Jiyane said the ANC was 'nitpicking' by singling out Chief Buthelezi for being registered at an address where he no longer lived. In addition, Mr Thembinkosi Memela, Dr Mdlalose's media spokesman-responding to the ANC's allegation against him-said he had not intended to register twice, but simply to check that his name was on the roll. As officials had not been present, he had filled out a second form-leaving instructions for its destruction if his name already appeared on the roll.

Chief Buthelezi said the IFP might withdraw from the government of national unity if the polls were postponed. 'If the ANC continues to press on with their plan to postpone the elections in KwaZulu/Natal and are successful, the consequences will be grave indeed,' he said. 'Marxist hardliners are plotting to create a one-party state,' he continued, and 'the IFP will no longer be able to collaborate in the government of national unity if it becomes clear that the ANC is in the hands of a clique bent on a one-party state.'

Following a meeting between Chief Buthelezi and President Mandela, a multiparty committee was established to decide whether the elections should be postponed. The committee recommended by a majority of eight to four that the election should proceed. This recommendation was reported to have placed Mr Mandela in a dilemma. Though he had earlier said the committee's decision would be final, adherence to it would generate considerable opposition from within the ANC. Mr Mandela then decided that the matter should be referred to the cabinet for its consideration.

Shortly before the cabinet was to meet there was an attack on the Zulu monarch's palace in KwaMashu in which two members of the royal household were injured, and another killed. In addition, a gun battle erupted soon thereafter during a march by IFP-supporting hostel-dwellers through the streets of Durban. Against this background, the cabinet resolved to postpone the local poll in the province to a date not later than the end of June. Chief Buthelezi supported the cabinet's decision. 'The majority wanted it this way and consensus was reached,' Chief Buthelezi said. The date for the local polls in KwaZulu/ Natal was thereafter set at 26 June.

The decision to postpone the poll was strongly criticised by Mr Miller. Accusing the ANC-dominated central government of double standards, Mr Miller said the voters' roll in KwaZulu/Natal was in a better state than that in most provinces in which elections had been held in November 1995. 'The double standards applied by the ANC have to be seen to be believed,' he said. 'In provinces which are in effect one-party ANC provinces, anything goes. In at least one instance the local government elections held last year where totally ultra vires in terms of both the law and election regulations,' he said. Mr Miller estimated that the one-month election postponement would cost 'not one cent less than R40m'. Mr Miller also agreed to re-open voter registration for four days in late May, but said he believed that the vast majority of those who wanted to register had done so previously.

In early June, the IFP claimed that the ANC had fraudulently used the four-day period allowed for additional registrations to register some 93 000 rural voters in Durban alone. This had been done, the IFP charged, in a bid by the ANC to bolster its chances of winning the metropolitan council. Dr Jiyane said the ANC had realised that it had no chance of winning the regional election polls, and had decided to register thousands of rural voters in urban centres to improve its chances of winning in these areas instead. The number of new registrations in Durban was extraordinary, he said, for they represented about half of the 189 000 new registrations which had been effected in the province as a whole during the month of November 1995, when additional registrations had also been allowed. Those who had recently registered in urban areas, he added, had provided 'a series of spurious addresses'. The ANC, he continued, had engaged in large-scale 'gerrymandering' to subvert democracy, and it was now clear that it had 'pushed for a one-month postponement simply to buy time to engage in irregularities'.

The NP also accused the ANC of having fraudulently registered voters during the May extension period. Some 4 700 bogus voters, it charged, had appeared on the roll in Pietermaritzburg during this time. Mr Tino Volker, chairman of the NP caucus in the province, said the figure might seem small, but could have an important effect on the outcome of ward elections. Mr Volker said the bogus voters had been registered 'at squatter camps falling under four Indian wards which the NP saw as its strongholds. The additional registrations had strengthened the ANC's chances of winning the four wards, which could be crucial to ANC efforts to control the new council by a two-thirds majority'. Mr Volker added that the extra registrations would be difficult to check because many had been submitted without sufficient details. 'One can easily fill in thousands of voters in so-called squatter camps,' he said. He accused the ANC of seeking a postponement of the election in order to manipulate voters' rolls. 'I believe there was a political predetermination,' he stated, 'to have the elections delayed to enable the deliberate manipulation of voters' rolls.'

Mr Roger Burrows read out in the legislature what he said were excerpts from an ANC internal document which stated that the ANC had a 'great capacity' to interfere with voters' rolls and that the names of IFP voters should be replaced with those of ANC voters. ANC MPLs in the province denied the authenticity of the document.

In the province as a whole, the names of some 85 200 people were purged from the rolls by local government election officials checking for irregularities. Some 156 200 new registrations effected during the four-day period remained in effect, however. Of these, some 95 700 were in urban areas, and the balance in rural areas. An additional 57 000 voters were ultimately registered in the Durban metropolitan area; 3000 in Ladysmith; 3400 in Newcastle; 8 300 in Pietermaritzburg and 2 000 in Vryheid.

Some 22 000 policemen and 21 companies of the SANDF were deployed in the province to keep the peace before, during and after the poll. On 26 June, polling proceeded peacefully and virtually without violence. The ANC won 33,25% of the vote overall, and the IFP 44,5%. The ANC also won control of Durban, Pietermaritzburg and a number of other towns in the province, while the IFP won landslide victories in rural areas.

Continued Conflict and Increased Repression

In early January 1995 two gunmen wearing SANDF uniforms approached a house in the Ezimangweni area of Inanda (Durban), an IFP stronghold. They fired several shots into the building, killing Mr Rasta Khumalo and injuring his wife. They then walked to another house about 30m away and opened fire, killing Mr E S Mabange and wounding another man. Thereafter, they attacked a further house about a kilometre away, where three people were injured.

Later in the month, eight children were killed and two adults injured at Izingolweni near Port Shepstone on the south coast when gunmen opened fire on their home and set it on fire. The 10-member family had settled down for the night when four gunmen surrounded the house and fired indiscriminately on the occupants. The attackers fled in a car after setting the dwelling alight. Mr Selvan Chetty of the South Coast Network of Independent Monitors said the attack was probably politically motivated, and might have been linked to a struggle for traditional authority in the KwaXolo district. The local chief, he said, had fled the area more than a year earlier following attempts on his life, and this had left a power vacuum. Soon after the first attack, the home of Mr Norman Cele, an induna in the Izingolweni area, was attacked. Five people, including three of the induna's children, were killed.

Also in late January, violence flared in the Loskop area (KwaZulu/Natal Midlands). All transportation to the Makekeni area stopped after a taxi driver, Mr Msweli Sithole, was shot and killed. Thereafter, four people were killed and their huts set alight. In another incident, a man was called out of his house by a group of armed men and shot dead. Chief Simpiwe Mazibuko said there had been a long history of conflict in the area. 'My life was at risk and several attempts were made to assassinate me. My vehicles were burnt, my houses attacked and some of my indunas were killed. Today, lots of innocent people are dying and their houses being destroyed by fire.'

Mr Philip Powell, an IFP senator and a spokesman for the party, called for urgent reinforcement of the police force in Loskop, saying the IFP was concerned that conflict could arise between the ANC and IFP at the funerals of those recently killed. He also condemned the presence of the SANDF in the area, saying an IFP delegation had met ten young men who had been subjected to severe assault by the defence force. One newspaper report stated that 'gunmen wearing defence force uniforms had killed one person and injured two others at Loskop' the previous weekend.

In early February, an IFP official, Mr Vusi Gabela, and a friend were shot dead by an unknown gunman near Stanger in northern KwaZulu/Natal. A police constable, who had been in the car with the two men, was critically injured. A police spokesman said the men had been travelling between Mandini and the Tugela River, and had stopped at a tea room. As they did so, a witness saw a man armed with an AK-47 rifle open fire on the car. The man ran away after firing some 30 shots. Mr Gabela was hit once in the head and five times in the body. His friend was also hit several times, and both died on the scene. Police said there had been several failed attempts on Mr Gabela's life in the past, in which AK-47 rifles had also been used.

Tension mounted in the province during the month of February-prompted, inter alia, by the impasse over international mediation and the IFP's withdrawal from Parliament and the Constitutional Assembly. Against this background, Mr Mandela announced that additional members of the SANDF and the SAPS would be deployed in trouble-spots around the country, including KwaZulu/Natal. A key objective, said the ANC, would be to remove illegal weapons from the province-and the houses of IFP supporters, added Mr Mandela, would systematically be searched this purpose.

The IFP branded the crackdown as 'yet another instance of the ANC's unacceptable use of state resources to harm the IFP'. It said that the action by the security forces was 'a military response' to its walkout from Parliament, and stated that searches for illegal weapons would be carried out in a partisan manner against its supporters alone. The IFP added that the situation in the province did not warrant a security force clampdown, which could be justified only by an explosion in conflict. This had not occurred and was not likely to do so. 'Violence,' it said, 'cannot be switched on and off like a tap.'

In mid-February, some 2 000 IFP supporters gathered before the C R Swart Police Station in Durban for the funeral of two IFP members, Mr Mbuso Luthuli and Mr Vusi Gumede. The mourners, who had earlier marched through the streets of Durban in protest against the 'cold-blooded murder' of the two men, handed police a memorandum calling on Mr Mufamadi to appoint a commission of inquiry to investigate the circumstances of their deaths.

Also in the middle of the month, an IFP leader in the Mandini area died 'under a hail of bullets', together with his bodyguard. A member of the KwaZulu Police, who was also present at the time of the attack, was injured. IFP supporters announced plans to hold a march in protest against his death. This was reported by City Press to have 'evoked fear among residents of the area'. Ms Mary de Haas-an academic at the University of Natal (Durban) also involved in the monitoring of violence-urged the deployment of SANDF patrols in the area to keep the peace, and soldiers were deployed in the area in early March.

In late February, violence flared again at Loskop in the Midlands region, and a gun battle broke out between supporters of the ANC and IFP, who were separated by a railway line in the Nkomokazini section. When police intervened, they were shot at and returned fire, killing three men and wounding three others. The IFP stated that ANC supporters were 'preventing proper schooling and delivery of services in the Loskop area because they were trying to assert minority control in an IFP stronghold'. The IFP added that violence had broken out when a group of young girls went to fetch water from a pump on the boundary separating the township from the ANC-controlled area. One of the girls had been abducted by ANC supporters, and IFP members had moved towards the boundary to rescue her.

In early March, in Bhambayi (Durban), violence started when 'two men from the IFP-supporting "green" area were shot and killed'. Attacks resumed the next day, launched by a group from the ANC-supporting 'red' area. Two men and a woman were injured and three shacks set alight before the gunmen fled. Later in the month, four people were shot dead and four injured in clashes between ANC and IFP members in the settlement. In Izingolweni in early March, three men died and four were injured when a group of youths marching with traditional weapons came under fire from unknown gunmen.

Also in early March, Dr Jiyane accused the ANC of preparing a major military offensive aimed at toppling the KwaZulu/Natal administration. Dr Jiyane claimed that the ANC had resumed military training, using cadres belonging to Umkhonto who had not yet enlisted in the national army. These cadres, he said, were being used to train communities for combat with the IFP. The ANC, he added, was also stockpiling weapons for use against its rival. Attacks against IFP supporters had intensified, and at least eight had been killed in the province in a single week. The ANC and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) were also poised, Dr Jiyane said, to embark on a rolling mass action campaign. This would be 'designed to create violence, confusion and anarchy and, thus, to give the government the excuse to declare a state of emergency'. The IFP, he added, was 'bleeding', but its supporters would 'not take it lying down when they were attacked'.

Later in the month, one man was shot and hacked to death and another three people, including a teenager, were injured when a group of men attacked homesteads in Inhlazuka, near Richmond in the Midlands region. Some of the attackers, who were armed with AK-47 rifles, handguns and traditional weapons, were disguised as women. The attackers were tracked by helicopter, and 18 were arrested. The chairman of the IFP in Richmond, Mr Paulus Vezi, said this was the first confrontation since a peace accord had been signed in the area in December 1994.

In mid-April, five people were killed in the Shomora shack settlement, an IFP-supporting enclave across the road from the Glebelands Hostel in Durban. The victims, three men and two women, were 'mowed down by killers armed with AK-47 rifles at about 4,30am on a Sunday morning. Two of those gunned down were teenagers'. A spokesman for the IFP, Mr John Aulsebrook, said the victims had not been killed at random but had been specifically targeted. He said the area had come under attack the previous week, and that he had urged the police to offer protection to residents. An ANC spokesman, Mr Dumisani Makhaye, said his organisation had sent condolences to the relatives of the deceased, and condemned the attacks-whether politically motivated or simply criminal conduct-in the strongest terms.

Later in the month, following the ANC's refusal to honour its agreement regarding international mediation, Chief Buthelezi called on his followers to 'rise and resist' the plans of the central government. IFP officials added that the IFP's president's call was for mass action, in the form of marches, rallies and other forms of protest.

On 1 May Mr Mandela addressed a crowd of some 2 000 ANC supporters in the village of Embo in the Umbumbulu district in southern KwaZulu/Natal. He warned that 'those who are starting this trouble in KwaZulu/Natal don't know how dangerous is this thing they have started'. Referring to Chief Buthelezi, he continued: 'There is a certain leader in KwaZulu/Natal who says he'll organise people to revolt against the government. I do not want to use my authority to crush this. I want to talk peacefully to end violence in KwaZulu/Natal. I am president of the whole country, even in KwaZulu/Natal, but I don't want to use force. If some people do not know I am the president in KwaZulu/Natal, I will teach them. We want to talk peacefully.'

Later in the day, at a rally attended by some 20 000 people in Umlazi, Mr Mandela returned to the same theme. Shooting broke out at the stadium in unexplained circumstances, and six people were injured (three inside the stadium and three outside). Departing from his prepared text, Mr Mandela warned that he would withdraw funding from the KwaZulu/Natal legislature if the IFP continued to threaten disruption of his government. 'They should know that it is us that give them money, and they use the money against my government. Should they continue, I am going to withdraw that money.' He added that he was willing to hold talks to end confrontation and violence in the province. 'I do not want, as the president, to use force and the police,' he said. 'I like to talk to people. I am angry and my government will take action. Everyone who breaks the law should know I am angered. Those making violence should know I am in control here,' he added.

Mr Mandela's threat to withdraw funding from the province was criticised by the IFP and other political parties. Dr Mzimela said that the withdrawal of funds would be unconstitutional, especially as the people of the province paid taxes to the central government. Dr Jiyane added that 'the use of taxpayers' money to punish those who spearhead any opposition to the ANC reveals the dictatorship that is inherent in the ANC's structures and leadership'. The NP noted with great concern 'the aggressive content' of Mr Mandela's speech and said the threat to withhold funding was 'ominous and could only exacerbate the already tense situation in the province'. The threat also 'flew in the face of the federal principles entrenched in the constitution'. Mr Tony Leon said it was becoming 'more and more apparent that the government was becoming impatient with the "obstacles" created by democracy. It wanted to control, centralise and dominate'.

Speaking in Parliament the day after the Umlazi rally, Chief Buthelezi said: 'I reject with the contempt it deserves the allegation that I or the IFP are organising people to revolt against the government or have threatened violence in KwaZulu/Natal. I have never followed the path of violence or intimidation.' Chief Buthelezi added that the IFP regarded self-defence as the inalienable right of every person. He continued: 'As much as we did not fear the might of the South African army a year ago [when emergency rule was imposed in KwaZulu/Natal] we will not fear it now. We have been tempered by 20 years of struggle and we will not yield to intimidation. Not only for ourselves, but for South Africa as a whole.' 'The IFP,' he concluded, 'will resist attempts to enforce socialism, controlled in all its respects by an all-pervasive central power.'

Responding to the barrage of criticism, Mr Mandela said he 'scorned gratuitous advice' on the constitution. Speaking in Parliament, he said he would take 'firm and decisive action' to end violence in KwaZulu/Natal because lives were more important to him than the country's constitution. 'If any party threatens the lives of human beings,' he stated, 'it is my duty as the president of this country and the head of the government to act very decisively and firmly, and that is what I am going to do.' Earlier, in an address to the Press Club in Cape Town, Mr Mandela had said: 'If I do not have the legal power to [halt funds to Kwa-Zulu/Natal], I will have to change the constitution. If I haven't got the power now, I will have to make sure that I have the power.' He had also warned that he might have to consider introducing emergency rule in the province, but would do so as a last resort.

In early May the home in Mtubatuba (northern KwaZulu/Natal) of Mr Bheki Ntuli, regional ANC and Cosatu chairman, was gutted by fire, and a report in the Sunday Tribune blamed this on the IFP. The IFP stated that Mr Ntuli was supplying arms to the ANC in the area, and that the house served as a base for attacks on IFP members. In February 1995, a police raid on the house had revealed a large arms cache, including three AK-47 rifles. (A lawyer for the Ntuli family stated that all the firearms found had been licensed, legal weapons-and denied that they had included AK-47 rifles.)

In mid-May an IFP leader, Mr Robert Thusini, was shot dead at his home at Mvutshini near Margate on the KwaZulu/Natal south coast. A police spokesman said that, at about 5,30am, four armed men arrived at the house of the IFP leader. Mr Thusini was shot dead when he went to investigate why his dogs were barking. At about the same time, gunmen approached a group of commuters and opened fire.

The NP blamed the escalating violence on the rising political temperature in the province, and said this resulted from 'tardiness in dealing with international mediation on constitutional issues'. Chief Buthelezi said violence would diminish once the issue of international mediation had received attention, and that it was the ANC's refusal to honour its mediation agreement that had heightened conflict.

In mid-May, Cosatu warned that it would call a stayaway in the province if violence did not diminish within two weeks. It called for ten areas to be designated as unrest areas, so that security forces could be given the power to confiscate G-3 and AK-47 rifles without first having to obtain a search warrant.

In the Maphumulo area in the Natal Midlands, towards the end of May, two people were killed and five injured when a bakkie was ambushed. The driver of the open bakkie, which was carrying several passengers, accelerated when he heard shots and stopped about 500m later when he realised his passengers had been hit. Fourteen AK-47 rifle cartridges were found at the scene. Police said the motive for the shooting was unknown, but was probably 'related to the ongoing conflict in the area'. Maphumulo is generally regarded as an IFP-supporting area.

Security chiefs met to devise a strategy to counter violence, in terms of which the intention would be to target selected 'warlords' within certain areas. Mr Senzo Mchunu, the secretary of the ANC in KwaZulu/Natal, said his organisation wanted the immediate deployment of troops in eight flashpoint areas. The IFP's MEC for safety and security in the province, the Rev Celani Mthethwa, said he knew nothing of the security meeting, and had not been consulted on a possible troop deployment. Troops were not needed, he said, for the province was 'quite stable, apart from violence here and there'.

Towards the end of May, tensions rose further in Bhambayi when an IFP member was killed. Mrs Agnes Gama was shot dead in the settlement, shortly before a meeting convened by the regional peace committee (established under the auspices of the National Peace Accord) was due to take place. In response, the IFP suspended further peace talks with the ANC, saying that the killing was 'clearly calculated to sabotage and scuttle the peace talks'.

Also in late May, Mr Mandela made a further verbal attack on Chief Buthelezi. Speaking at Gcilima in southern KwaZulu/Natal, Mr Mandela said he was once again warning the IFP leadership that he would take drastic action in the province to put an end to violence. 'The leader of a certain black political party in KwaZulu/Natal,' Mr Mandela said, 'has never sat in jail. His supporters have never risen up against apartheid and they have never had to flee their country. They were used by the previous government to suppress democracy and now that we eventually have attained our freedom, they want to establish a new apartheid dispensation. So long as the ANC governs, I will never allow this to happen.' Mr Mandela repeated his warning that he would cut off funding to KwaZulu/Natal and said he would not hesitate to change the constitution to give himself the power to do so. 'So-called Christians in Parliament who regard black lives as insignificant,' he continued, 'have attacked me over what I have said about the constitution. But I regard the lives of people as more important than the constitution.' Mr Mandela also reiterated that he would not allow any area of KwaZulu/Natal to be barred to him, through 'no-go areas'.

Shortly thereafter, Mr Mandela addressed a rally at KwaXolo near Port Shepstone on the south coast, and reiterated his warning that he would stop funding the KwaZulu/Natal administration if it abused taxpayers' money to stage a revolt against central government. He again said that those who criticised him for taking this stance regarded black lives as cheap. 'I value human life more than the constitution,' Mr Mandela repeated. He again declared war on 'no-go areas' and 'warlords', saying that 'toy leaders' would not be allowed to bar him from any area in KwaZulu/Natal he chose to visit.

The NP said Mr Mandela was 'pushing KwaZulu/Natal to boiling point with his statements and personal conduct'. The NP also accused Chief Buthelezi of making inflammatory remarks. 'Both are playing with the interests of South Africa and all its people,' it said, and it called on both organisations to compromise on the issues of international mediation and violence in the province.

Speaking in Dar-es-Salaam, during a visit to Tanzania at the end of May, Mr Mandela held Chief Buthelezi personally responsible for the violence in KwaZulu/Natal. 'The problem in KwaZulu/Natal,' the president said, 'does not lie with Inkatha but with the leader of the party The problem is not really with the KwaZulu/Natal provincial government.' Chief Buthelezi challenged Mr Mandela to dismiss him from his post in the cabinet if he believed the IFP leader was to blame for the conflict. He also stated that Mr Mandela's comments would 'increase tensions on the ground in KwaZulu/Natal'. The allegations, he said, were a personal insult, which had greatly distressed him. Chief Buthelezi said the real cause of the violence lay in socio-economic deprivation in the province, coupled with the 'people's war' initiated by the ANC alliance in the 1980s.

During his Tanzanian visit Mr Mandela also warned that his government would 'sideline and even crush' all dissident forces in South Africa. 'We have already sidelined the right wing,' the president said. 'We are going to sideline and even crush all dissident forces in this country.' Mr Mandela qualified his warning, however, by saying the government preferred not to use force and power, but would deal with dissident forces through persuasion.

Chief Buthelezi said, in response, that he was duty-bound to continue to voice the needs, wants and expectations of the people he represented. He accused the ANC of targeting the IFP for attack, and stated that the IFP would not yield to coercion. 'We must resist this violence,' Chief Buthelezi said, 'in the name of all those who have made the supreme sacrifice with their lives to support our struggle for freedom.' Resistance would not involve counter-violence, however. 'We shall not oppose violence with violence. We shall resist through the employment of non-violence and self-defence.' He added that the IFP would not accept the ANC's unconstitutional action in arrogating the payment of chiefs to central government. Nor would it bow to the various unconstitutional threats made by Mr Mandela to terminate funding to the province, and to 'crush' any sign of opposition to the will of central government. 'I have said in the past,' concluded Chief Buthelezi, 'that these threats will fail because the IFP people will never, never be intimidated into submission. Our cause is a just cause, and we reject utterly the concept that "might is right".'

As the deployment of troops proceeded in the province, the IFP said it would mobilise its supporters to force the SANDF out of the south coast region. Mr Tillet said this followed the 'contemptuous SANDF dismissal of the IFP's allegations of SANDF misconduct in the region'. The IFP was satisfied with the role of the police in the area, and 'Port Shepstone would have been peaceful if the SANDF had not been deployed there'. 'If it were not for the defence force, the greater Port Shepstone area, especially Izingolweni, would be totally quiet,' he stated.

In early June a special meeting of the cabinet was held to discuss violence in the province, and agreed to a multiparty strategy aimed at ending conflict in KwaZulu/Natal. It was also agreed that arms-smuggling would be curbed and socio-economic deprivation addressed, and that Mr Mandela and Chief Buthelezi would meet and talk.

Tensions remained high, however. Speaking at a rally in Port Shepstone soon thereafter, Chief Buthelezi said that 'war was being waged against his party to destabilise KwaZulu/ Natal and thereby justify the declaration of a state of emergency' in the province. 'There are signs,' he said, 'of a carefully crafted manipulation of events leading to this planned conclusion.' Chief Buthelezi warned that emergency rule would not succeed in inducing the IFP to back down from its demands for freedom, democracy and pluralism in South Africa. 'To this noble cause,' he said, 'we have committed our lives and our honour, and no threats can withstand our determination and our courage. Our commitment to non-violent resistance will, in the end, overcome any type of intimidation.' He added that the country was in a parlous state, and was experiencing many problems which were undermining freedom and democracy. Chief Buthelezi blamed the ANC for this. 'The ANC', he stated, 'is consolidating its power in our country and is hell-bent on destroying anything which stands in its way.'

In early June, the ANC and Cosatu held a march in Umlazi to protest against continued conflict and demand that the township be declared an unrest area. During the march, three people were shot dead, a woman was hacked, and a seven-year-old boy was badly burnt when a house was gutted. The IFP condemned the violence. 'It is ironic,' said Dr Jiyane, 'that the ANC and Cosatu mass action to protest against violence in KwaZulu/Natal has itself led to an escalation in violence.' Dr Jiyane said the ANC's campaign was a 'treasonable' attempt to force a state of emergency in KwaZulu/Natal. If it succeeded, he added, it would plunge the entire country into violence and chaos.

Soon thereafter, Chief Buthelezi visited Mandini to call for peace, and three people were shot dead in the area only hours before his rally was to begin. They included Mr Bongani Mnyandu, who had been accused by local ANC supporters of fomenting violence in the region, and of involvement in the May massacre of 11 people at Isithebe. (When Mr Mandela had addressed the funeral of massacre victims on 21 May, a group of ANC supporters had assaulted a man believed to have ties with Mr Mnyandu. They had also chanted 'Bongani, Bongani,' when Mr Mandela had said the killers responsible for the massacre would soon be behind bars.) According to a report in The Citizen, Mr Mnyandu was 'shot dead by police, but the circumstances surrounding the fatality were not immediately available'. According to the Sunday Tribune, Mr Mnyandu was 'recruiting people to attend an IFP rally when he became involved in an argument with two brothers. One of the brothers was shot dead before Mr Mnyandu was killed'. No further explanation was reported.

In further violence in early June, three youths were killed in an attack in the Shoba-shobane ward of Izingolweni. According to a report in the Sunday Tribune, the three were believed to be ANC supporters who had been killed while 'camping'. (This meant that they had withdrawn from the company of women and were, with the aid of muti, preparing for battle.) The three youths were also believed to have been 'involved in stoking violence and targeting IFP households' in the area, previously an IFP stronghold. The local chief, Chief Khandalesizwe Cele, had died the previous month and huts in the area were still daubed with black crosses in respect for his memory. A police spokesman said that 25 houses had been burnt in the area, and that the attackers had even killed the owners' goats. Many people had fled the violence, and were having to start their lives all over again.

The following day, five people-including two children aged one and three-were killed in the same area in apparent revenge for the killing of the three ANC youths. Towards the end of the month, gunmen attacked the home of an IFP Youth Brigade leader, killing one man and seriously wounding an IFP chairman, Mr Zithulele Zuma. The IFP attributed the attack to ANC refugees who had recently settled in Shobashobane.

Also in June, a regional executive member of the IFP in the Midlands region, Mr Sha Shangase, was shot dead in KwaBhidla. He was on his way home, said Mr Tillet, when he came under fire. At the end of the month three members of the Sithole family-all IFP supporters-were shot dead at their home in Umlazi. The father, mother and one son were killed, while another son survived the attack. An IFP spokesman said the attackers had gained access to the Sithole home by claiming they were members of the IFP.

Also at the end of June, the IFP stated that the body of one of its supporters, the late Mr Bongani Ndlovu, had been dug up, shot and then set alight in Xoshiyaka, a rural area near Bulwer. The burnt body and coffin were found about 1km from the grave. A police spokesman said Mr Ndlovu had been shot and killed in Durban earlier in the month, after fleeing Xoshiyaka because of political violence. His family had brought his body to the settlement because they wanted him buried at his birthplace. Some people had opposed the burial taking place in the area, however. Mr Tillet accused ANC members of 'violating the dignity associated with traditional African burial rites'. A spokesman for the ANC said there was no proof that ANC members had been behind the incident, but that the ANC would investigate the allegations and take disciplinary action if its members had been responsible.

In mid-July, five men burst into a house at Ezimangweni in Inanda and opened fire. Three men and a police constable (who had been visiting his brother) were killed. Several others were wounded. A police investigating officer said that, although Ezimangweni was primarily an IFP stronghold, survivors of the attack had said the house belonged to an ANC supporter. It was not possible to say, however, whether the attack was 'political or criminal'. Later in the month, a group of IFP members on their way to a funeral in Estcourt came under gunfire while passing through an intersection. One man, Mr Nathi Dlamini, was killed.

Early in July, the Rev David Zondi-the IFP's branch chairman in KwaNdelu (south coast of KwaZulu/Natal)-was gunned down at a bus stop, shortly after returning from an IFP meeting in Umlazi. Mr Tillet said the attack was 'further evidence of the ANC's raw pursuit of power in KwaZulu/Natal' and that it was 'profoundly disturbing that the assassins had targeted a man of the cloth who had consistently striven for peace and reconciliation'. In a separate attack, the bodyguard of another IFP leader, Mr S'qoloza Phehlukayo, and a family of four were killed. The ANC said the killings were 'the result of IFP members being at each other's throats', and demanded that the SAPS in the province appoint a special investigation 'to prove that the IFP had carried out the murders'. Mr Tillet responded that the ANC was trying to make political capital out of IFP deaths.

In mid-July, some 12 IFP supporters were injured in clashes with ANC supporters in Clermont township, north of Durban. The IFP had planned to hold a rally in the township to mark the opening of a local branch of the party. Thousands of ANC supporters, opposed to the presence of the IFP, waited for the 20 buses bringing IFP supporters to the rally and shot at them, injuring 12, when they refused to move off. Mr Tillet said the IFP would continue to hold rallies in areas which had been made 'no-go' for it, and that the clashes betrayed the ANC's 'hypocrisy and double standards' in alleging that the IFP alone refused to allow free political activity in the province. Mr Mandela called for an urgent investigation of the incident, and repeated that the existence of 'no-go' areas was unacceptable. 'The ANC,' he added, 'expects of all parties, and especially its own supporters, that they should set an example by according to others the same political tolerance which they wish to enjoy themselves.' Mr S'bu Ndebele, an ANC leader and the MEC for transport in the province, said he 'acknowledged the constitutional right to demonstrate and hold rallies, but what happened in Clermont was an invasion'. The IFP, he added, had 'brought a travelling audience with it, because there was no one in Clermont who wanted to be addressed by the IFP'.

Also in mid-July, one person was killed and five injured in two incidents of violence in Wembezi in the Midlands area. In the first, an IFP supporter was wounded when shots were fired during an IFP attempt to launch a branch in Wembezi (Estcourt). Mr Tillet said gunmen in a car had opened fire on three IFP members, one of whom had fired back-killing one of the attackers and wounding another. (According to the police, the ANC disputed the IFP's version of events, and full investigation was needed to ascertain the truth.)

In the second incident, shots were fired at IFP supporters proceeding to a funeral, killing one person and injuring two others. Mr David Ntombela, a senior IFP leader who had attended the funeral, said that a policeman, whose name was known to him, had admitted that the police had been 'working together with the ANC during the incident'. He would supply the policeman's name, he said, to the investigating officer in the case. 'If no action is taken,' Mr Ntombela added, 'the killings will continue.' The policeman in question should be arrested and charged, he said. (A police spokesman rejected the allegation that police were colluding with the ANC. The police, he said, had been between the two groups when the shooting started, and took cover with the IFP when it began.)

Later in July, three IFP supporters were killed at Loskop. Mr Tillet claimed that 1 000 people had fled the area as a result, while no delegation had been able to arrive at the IFP's national conference at Ulundi. In the Bulwer area, also in the KwaZulu/Natal Midlands, two IFP members were attacked when gunmen opened fire on the car in which they were travelling. The two-the IFP's Midlands organiser, Mr Dumisani Khuzwayo and a chief from Donnybrook, Chief S S Memela-were on their way to a community meeting. Twenty spent AK-47 rifle cartridges were later found at the scene. In a second incident, Mr Khuzwayo's group again came under fire from three youths. Witnesses said that the IFP group had shot first, but this was denied by Mr Khuzwayo, who said he and his bodyguard had returned fire in self-defence. Mr Khuzwayo was reported to have survived some 20 attempts on his life in three years.

At the end of July, Ms de Haas called in an open letter to Mr Mandela for a security force crackdown in KwaZulu/Natal, with increased troop deployment in certain areas coupled with the grant of additional powers to the SANDF. She also stated that greater autonomy should not be granted the KwaZulu/Natal administration, as this might generate a Bosnian-type civil war. Mr Tillet said Ms de Haas was acting as a 'Trojan Horse for the ANC' and was setting the scene for a 'Gestapo-like military intervention' in KwaZulu/Natal. Mr Tillet added that there were various factors contributing to violence in the province, including endemic poverty, competition for scarce resources, and a breakdown in family values. All needed to be addressed. The NP said one of the major underlying reasons for tension-the ANC's refusal to agree to international mediation-should also be addressed.

Mr Chris Serfontein stated that the 20 000 policemen deployed in the province were in effective control of the situation. Levels of political violence were still unacceptably high, but had significantly declined. In the first six months of the year, politically motivated murders had dropped 48% to 248 from the 471 such deaths registered in the corresponding period in 1994. Political conflict and faction fighting had fuelled violence in hostels, however, where murders had more than doubled from 45 to 99. The commissioner of the SAPS, Mr Fivaz, added that 'without total political commitment, there was little the police could do to stamp out violence in the province'.

Responding to a call for peace by Mr Mandela at a rally in Groutville (northern Kwa-Zulu/Natal) in August, an editorial in The Citizen commented that 'neither side was prepared to call off its dogs of war on the ground' and that 'each side blamed the other when both were equally culpable'. It added that the victims 'perhaps most times' were IFP members, and that Mr Mandela's appeal for peace would have to be supplemented by 'an olive branch' from the ANC, as well as a willingness by the IFP to 'accept a compromise'.

Towards the end of August, nine huts were burnt down in separate attacks near Margate on the south coast. According to a police spokesman, most of the huts were set alight at Nkampini, when a group of ANC supporters 'went into an Inkatha area and set fire to seven huts'. Two more huts were set alight by a group of men demanding firearms from a man at Mvutshini. When he said he did not have any, the group assaulted him and set two huts on fire.

Conflict continued and at the end of August Mr Mufamadi announced the deployment in the province of an additional 600 policemen and 400 troops, to be stationed at trouble spots in Port Shepstone (on the south coast), Durban, Ladysmith (in the Midlands region) and Empangeni. The additional deployments took effect on 28 August 1995, in what was termed Operation Jambu III.

Dr Mdlalose expressed concern regarding the deployment of additional troops in Kwa-Zulu/Natal. This had been decided, he said, without consulting Mr Celani Mthethwa. 'This is deliberate provocation,' said Dr Mdlalose, 'because it clearly undermines the authority of the provincial government.' He added that 'intolerance born of misguided political conviction' lay at the root of the violence in KwaZulu/Natal and that it was 'fruitless for political opponents to keep popping bullets into one another'. Ending the conflict would depend, he continued, on what was done by individuals-and the state could not use its power to 'enforce' peace. The practices employed by the previous government were emerging in the new dispensation, he added, for security forces had 'invaded' the homestead of Chief Khayelihle Mathaba three times in the past week without search warrants. The security forces, he concluded, were 'the father of violence' in the province.

In early September, a policeman shot and killed an IFP branch leader, Mr Jabulani Khumalo, in the doorway of his home in Wembezi. Mr Khumalo and other IFP supporters had earlier gone to the police station to lay a complaint against a Sergeant Buthelezi, for having shot at IFP members. Sgt Buthelezi, accompanied by other policemen, then drove to Mr Khumalo's house in a police vehicle and shot him dead. Mr David Ntombela said he believed the shooting had been 'well planned'. 'This is not the first time,' he added, 'that people have complained about Sgt Buthelezi being an ANC sympathiser.' Mr Ntombela called on the IFP to remain calm, and not to embark on any revenge attacks. A police spokesman, Major Henry Budhram, said an intensive investigation had been launched into the allegations against Sgt Buthelezi, and a murder docket opened. The circumstances surrounding the shooting were not yet clear, he said. Soon thereafter, a policeman whose name was not reported was arrested in connection with the killing.

In mid-September, the son of a Loskop chief and his teenage friend were found dead in the Emakenkeni area near Estcourt. The chief's son, Mr Percy Shipa Mazibuko, was 20 years old, and his friend 18. Both were found in an open field with multiple gun-shot wounds. Towards the end of the month, a senior IFP leader, Mr Zwelikude Mshengu, was shot dead in his bakkie on the Edendale Road en route to Impendle. A police spokesman said Mr Mshengu must have been shot several times from an overtaking car. Spent 9mm cartridges were found near the scene. The IFP said the killing was political and was linked to 'a continuing campaign of violence against IFP members' in the area.

In mid-September, the IFP said that Operation Jambu III had been a failure. Four of its members, it stated, had been assassinated in the space of four days. Dr Jiyane called on Mr Mufamadi to establish an independent commission of inquiry into the violence against IFP leaders and supporters. Dr Jiyane said the country was witnessing 'ethnic and political cleansing carried out with the approval of elements of the police and defence force'. At least 430 IFP leaders had been assassinated in a systematic fashion, he continued, and yet no outcry had followed. The result was that the ANC felt 'free to try and obliterate the IFP physically'. The commission, the IFP said, should be given full powers to probe the murder of IFP leaders, as well as the involvement of police and army members in their assassination.

The security forces, the IFP added, were suppressing violence statistics to back up their claims that Operation Jambu III was proving a success. 'The blanket ban on the dissemination of information relating to crime and violence in the province,' it stated, 'raises suspicions of an elaborate cover-up to conceal what is really happening.' The claim by the security forces that there had been a '20% decrease in serious crime in many areas' as a result of their operations was 'misleading the public', the IFP concluded.

At the end of September, some 5 000 IFP supporters marched from Wembezi to Estcourt to protest against security force activities. The marchers came from Hlathikhulu, Loskop, and Taylor's Halt as well as from Wembezi, and were accompanied by Mr Ntombela. Shots were fired in Wembezi at IFP members heading towards the march. The attackers were allegedly ANC youths from Five-Room Section, a predominantly ANC-supporting area. No injuries were reported, but the situation was tense. Presenting the IFP's memorandum to police in Estcourt, an IFP spokesman said that the IFP would move to 'active passive resistance if the security forces continued to ignore their complaints and to persecute their members'. 'We are warning,' said Mr Spitfire Dlamini, 'that our patience has been exhausted and we are tired of burying our members and IFP leaders and comforting their widows. It is the last effort on our part to get the security forces to listen to our grievances before we resort to mass passive resistance.' Mr Powell told the marchers that the party had had a number of meetings with police station commanders in Estcourt and Loskop, trying to put an end to the assassination of IFP members. Nothing had materialised, however, and it was now time for action. The IFP, he added, was 'a law-abiding organisation and had never killed policemen or planted limpet mines at police stations'.

Also at the end of September, four policemen and an informer-engaged in investigating a murder in the Bulwer area-were shot dead in Impendle by suspected IFP supporters. The IFP responded that, while the attack could not be condoned, it had to be seen 'in the context of security force brutality against communities'. 'Such occurrences,' the IFP added, 'cannot be allowed to continue, otherwise our society will slip into uncontrollable anarchy.'

The IFP called for the withdrawal from the province of soldiers and police accused of misconduct or illegal activities, pending urgent investigation. It proposed that a ten-point charter be drawn up, aimed at creating a basis for co-operation between communities and the security forces. In early October, the KwaZulu/Natal legislature unanimously approved a provincial Peace Bill, establishing a peace committee accountable to the committee on safety and security in the province. Mr Celani Mthethwa said the structures created would replace those of the National Peace Accord, which had been widely criticised. Mr Roy Ainslie, an ANC MPL in the province, said the bill would succeed only if the IFP 'made a commitment to peace' and stopped 'arming its supporters'. The IFP countered that the success of the bill would depend on the ANC's willingness to curb the activities of Umkhonto cadres in the province. 'Umkhonto activists are operating from within the ranks of the security forces,' it stated.

In early October, the IFP urged traditional leaders in the province to increase measures for their personal security. This followed the murder of an IFP leader, his sister, and three IFP supporters in Impendle. Police said gunmen had opened fire on Chief David Molefe's homestead and had then set fire to his hut. Chief Molefe was burnt to death, while an adjacent hut was gutted. The chief's sister and another man who lived in the homestead were also killed. In another attack, two further members of the IFP were shot dead and another six homes were gutted.

Later in the month, ANC supporters were reported to have gone from room to room in the Kranskloof Hostel in KwaDabeka in Clermont outside Durban, 'forcing people to gather together to prevent IFP members coming into the area'. This followed rumours that the IFP were going to open a branch at the hostel. While raiding the rooms, ANC supporters found three men and two women who were unable to produce ANC membership cards. These five people were led away to a nearby beer hall. Two were shot dead en route, and the others managed to escape.

Also in early October, the IFP elected a peace committee at Ezibomvini in the Edendale Valley to work with police in investigating crimes of arson in the area. IFP supporters claimed that local ANC supporters had set alight eight houses in the IFP-supporting area two months earlier, and that this had sparked sporadic incidents of confrontation. The IFP added that there would never be peace in the area if the culprits were not charged. (ANC supporters countered that a satellite police caravan should permanently be stationed in the area, as IFP members had threatened to burn their houses down if the police left.)

In early November, gunmen killed the wife and child of an IFP councillor in the Durban area, Mr Jabulani Makhathini. Both were asleep in their shack in Bhambayi at the time of the attack. The IFP called on Bhambayi residents to form a 'civilian watch' for self-protection, but stressed that this should not become a vigilante body.

Also in early November, an IFP organiser for the Impendle area in the Midlands region of the province, Mr Sipho Zulu, was ambushed and shot at on his way to work. The IFP said this was the second attack on Mr Zulu in less than two months. Later in the month, an IFP youth leader, Mr Ndabazakhe Nthinza, was killed in a drive-by shooting near Bulwer, and an IFP supporter with him was critically injured. The IFP said the continuing assassination of its leaders was jeopardising the local government elections, then scheduled to be held on 27 March 1996. It added that Mr Nthinza had been unable to defend himself, because the G-3 rifle issued to him by the former KwaZulu administration for his protection had been confiscated from him, at central government behest. (This death followed the killing in mid-October of an IFP local government candidate in Mpumalanga-allegedly by six soldiers on foot patrol, who were reported to have opened fire on the IFP candidate, killing him and injuring five others.)

Also in early November, an army patrol was ambushed in the Maphumulo area in the Midlands region by a heavily armed group of some 80 men. The gunmen, dressed in stolen police and army camouflage uniforms and armed with AK-47, R1 and R4 rifles as well as R5 machine-guns, opened fire on a patrol of ten soldiers at about noon. Reinforcements were called in, and did battle for about three hours until mist came down. None of the soldiers-who had been engaged in a routine patrol in the course of Operation Jambu III-were reported to have been injured. Colonel W A Vrey, commanding officer of 121 Battalion at Mtubatuba said later that increasing attacks on security force members could be the result of 'disenchanted former Umkhonto or Apla [Azanian People's Liberation Army] soldiers taking lead positions in the self-defence units which have mushroomed over the past few years, or running gangs of armed robbers'. 'They have acquired a myriad of weapons,' said Col Vrey, 'and appear now to have got over their fear of taking on the military, and this could be a trend in the future.'

In a further incident in early November, the secretary of the IFP's Youth Brigade in the Mahashini section of Wembezi, Mr Nhlanhla Dladla, was shot dead and his two brothers seriously injured when gunmen opened fire on their vehicle as they travelled to work in Estcourt. A fourth man, Mr Sihle Dladla, escaped injury. One of the injured brothers died soon thereafter, and the other a week later. Mr Powell said their deaths reflected an ongoing campaign to assassinate IFP leaders in the province, and called for an independent investigation into the deaths of some 430 IFP leaders and office bearers since the 1980s. The Dladla family, he added, had been targeted in previous years as well. In 1992, the brothers' father, Mr Mandi Dladla, had been assassinated, and in October 1995 a fourth brother, Mr Boya Dladla, had been shot. 'The political pogrom against the Dladla family is a microcosm of the campaign of terror being waged against the IFP and its leaders across the province in advance of the March 27 elections,' the IFP stated.

The ANC responded that the IFP's statements were designed to fuel violence in the Estcourt area, rather than to seek solutions. 'The main problem in Estcourt,' said Mr Senzo Mchunu, 'is that there are too many hot statements issued from people outside that area.' The ANC added that its own investigations had revealed that an IFP member might have been responsible for the attack on the brothers.

The funeral of the three brothers was attended by Chief Buthelezi and a number of high-ranking IFP leaders. Chief Buthelezi wept openly after his address to some 800 raindrenched mourners, during which he promised to make the killers of the three brothers pay for their 'evil, callous deeds'. The 'political pogrom' being waged against the Dladla family, he said, was one of a 'string of tragedies' implemented against the IFP and its leaders. The ANC, he added, would 'use all means at its disposal, including fomenting violence', to gain control of KwaZulu/Natal. Mrs Faith Gasa, president of the IFP Women's Brigade, was also reduced to tears as she addressed the mourners, saying that the IFP would 'fight to the end' to protect its ancestral province. 'We have a leader with vision,' she said, 'and they think by killing his followers they will destroy him. They will have to destroy us all before they get him, and those who are afraid to die for this region should stand aside and let us carry on with the struggle.'

In early December, three IFP supporters were attacked in a drive-by shooting at Loskop in the Midlands region. Occupants of a car fired at the three while they were sitting outside a butchery at a traffic intersection. Mr Tikka Msomi was shot dead and his brothers seriously injured. The IFP again accused the ANC of fomenting violence in the Midlands. 'What is developing in Wembezi,' said Mr Powell, 'is nothing less than a ruthless and blatant push for turf by the ANC in the face of community opposition, utilising terror, violence and intimidation.' (The ANC denied the allegation.)

Soon thereafter an IFP constituency chairman, Mr Mgudleni Madlala, died at Impendle when he was shot dead outside a tribal court by gunmen armed with an AK-47 rifle and two pistols. Some 17 shots were fired at the court, killing Mr Madlala and injuring the chairman of a local committee established to promote reconstruction and development, Mr Alpheus Nhlala. Mr Senzo Mfayela said that 'being an IFP office-bearer in KwaZulu/Natal carried with it an automatic death sentence'. He added that his party was witnessing the 'systematic physical obliteration of the grassroots leadership of the party'. The government and international community, he continued, were ignoring 'the political serial killing of IFP leaders on a scale that would not be out of place in Bosnia'. 'We no longer request,' he continued, 'but demand an independent inquiry into the ongoing murder of our leaders.' The IFP said it would use 'the full scope of non-violent direct action' in support of this demand.

In mid-December the Investigation Task Unit (ITU)-established to probe culpability for violence in the province by Mr Mufamadi-arrested three ANC supporters in Greytown (Midlands) in connection with the death, in 1994, of the chairman of the ANC branch in the town, Mr Solomon Nganencane Mzolo. Mr Mzolo had been addressing an ANC meeting in adjacent Enhlalakahle when he was shot dead by men armed with an AK-47 rifle and a pistol. The attack had been prompted, said Mr Howard Varney (chairman of the board to which the ITU reported), by a 'power struggle within the ANC in the area'. A further three ANC members were arrested on arson charges related to two attacks on the homes of IFP members in Ixopo (Midlands) in 1993. Also in the middle of the month, three ANC supporters were arrested on suspicion of involvement in arson attacks on two IFP-supporting homesteads near Ixopo (Midlands region) in September 1995. The attacks were reported to have resulted in damage estimated at R85 000.

The NP said the arrests illustrated the 'climate of lawlessness' the ANC had created, and the urgent need for the ANC to regain control over its members' possession and use of weapons. 'The ANC also has to stop blaming other political parties for the violence in KwaZulu/Natal,' it said. It challenged the ANC to reveal 'whether there were secret units within the party appointed to eliminate political opponents and internal renegades'.

Also in mid-December an induna, Mr Mhlushwa Shangase, was shot dead outside a supermarket in Harburg (KwaZulu/Natal Midlands). He was shot eight times in the head and back as he was using a public telephone outside the shop. An eyewitness said two welldressed teenagers walked towards him from behind, drew firearms, and shot him. They removed Mr Shangase's own revolver, and fled into nearby sugarcane plantations. A farmer in the area said the induna's death was likely to spark conflict as he had been a prominent member of the community, and had been actively involved in community policing and in endeavours to improve the standard of living in the Ndwedwe region. Police were unable to find the suspects.

In late December, police responded to a shootout at a house in Impendle and came under fire on their arrival. They were forced to return fire and succeeded in arresting 14 people, including a member of the SANDF. Several illegal firearms were confiscated. Dr Jiyane said that 'persistent hit squad attacks had been planned and launched from the house', which belonged to an ANC leader in the area.

Soon thereafter an IFP councillor, Mr Sipho Mnikathi, and his brother were attacked while they were asleep at their home in the Nzinga ward of Impendle. Both men were killed, and police found AK-47 rifle and 9mm pistol shells at the scene. Their deaths, said the IFP, brought the number of IFP leaders and supporters killed in the area since September 1995 to 25. Of these, 19 had been IFP members and six IFP leaders. More than 46 houses had also been burnt in the area in the same period, stated Mr Powell. The killing of the brothers, he said, had followed the bussing in of ANC supporters for a meeting, where the ANC had used a public address system to taunt families and friends of the IFP members who had been assassinated. Two other men were found dead in the Nzinga area of Impendle a day later.

Violence also intensified on the south coast. In mid-December, four men, five women and a six-month-old baby were shot dead in separate incidents near Paddock (on the south coast) on a Friday night and Saturday morning. In the first incident, said a police spokesman, men armed with R-5 and AK-47 rifles opened fire on the Cele kraal in the Okhalweni ward of Ntsimbisi township at about 7,30pm, killing two men and three women. Four people were wounded in the attack. The second attack occurred next morning at about 5am at the kraal of a man identified only as Lusaba, near Paddock. Two women, two men and a baby were shot dead by the attackers. Police said the attacks appeared to be related. The IFP said the Ntsimbisi township was one of its strongholds, and that the families killed had been its supporters. The killers, it added, had worn army uniforms. (The massacre followed a 'fresh salvo of accusations by the IFP that former Umkhonto guerrillas integrated into the defence force were responsible for killing IFP members'.) 'The blame for the murders,' said Mr Tillet, 'must be laid squarely on the sick, pathological killing culture lovingly nurtured by the ANC and its predecessor, the United Democratic Front (UDF), in KwaZulu/Natal since 1984.'

Soon after the killing of ten IFP supporters at Paddock, eight women and children were killed on 19 December in the Mvutshini area, some 40 kilometres away. Tension also escalated in the Izingolweni area on the south coast, and it was estimated that between January and December 1995 some 80 people-mostly IFP supporters-had been killed in and around the ANC enclave of Shobashobane. IFP supporters blamed the ongoing conflict in the area on a group of about 100 youths, who had left the village for Durban soon after the April 1994 election, and had returned as ANC members to harass and attack the IFP. This had set in motion, said the IFP, a 'tit-for-tat of night-time arson attacks'.

On Christmas Day, 19 people were killed at Shobashobane when a group of some 600 men attacked the ANC-supporting settlement, allegedly with the active support or tacit connivance of the police. Police denied the allegations against them-particularly the statement by an ANC spokesman, Mr Bheki Cele, that the attack on Shobashobane had been a 'joint venture' between the IFP and the SAPS. Mr Cele's statement, said a police spokesman, was 'utter nonsense' and 'malicious'.

According to a local IFP youth leader, Mr Sipho Ngcobo, 'the return of the ANC in some strength had witnessed continual harassment and attacks against the surrounding community and hundreds of IFP supporters had been forced to leave the area'. It was these refugees, he believed, who must have formed 'the bulk of the massive impi which swept down to "retake" Shobashobane on Christmas Day'. The attack thus reflected-like the Seven Days' War in Pietermaritzburg in 1990-the reaction of a community pushed beyond its level of endurance. Mr Powell stated that 'Inkatha members in adjacent areas had been subjected to a wave of killing in the past three months'. He condemned the massacre, and reiterated that there had been a history of 'tit-for-tat' violence in the area.

At the end of December, Dr Mdlalose announced that a provincial commission of inquiry into ongoing political violence in KwaZulu/Natal would be established, and would finish its work by February 1998. The commission would include in its investigation the role, if any, of the security forces in the violence. 'It would also look at the full cycles of violence and counter-violence, and not only at individual incidents,' said Dr Mdlalose. In addition, a committee on peace, chaired by himself, would be established. Peace structures would be created throughout the province, into which members of both ANC self-defence units and IFP self-protection units would be integrated.'SDU and SPU members must be employed somehow,' Dr Mdlalose said. 'If they're not occupied with something, they pose a threat to society.'

The SANDF, continued Dr Mdlalose, would be called in to assist the SAPS in specific instances only, and would act under the clear supervision of the police. 'Central government directing operations from Pretoria,' added the provincial premier, 'has only created further confusion on the ground, often with counter-productive results.' A provincial special investigation team would also be established to 'get to the roots of all killings' in the province, and its first task would be to investigate events in Impendle in the Midlands region, where six IFP leaders had been assassinated in 1995.

The ANC rejected the proposal, and said it would refuse to participate in the commission, which would cost taxpayers millions of rands while seeking to cover up the IFP's involvement in the violence. Mr Tillet urged the ANC to reconsider its opposition to the commission. All parties, he said, would be consulted over its composition and terms of reference, and it would not be 'sectarian, as was the case with the ITU established by the central government'.

In early January 1996, the IFP accused the SAPS of colluding with the ANC in launching an attack on an IFP stronghold in Wembezi. Mr Powell said eyewitnesses had reported that 'ANC supporters were transported in police vehicles to Wembezi's Nkweda section', where the attackers shot dead an IFP member, Mr Zeph Sibiso. Mr Powell said allegations of police complicity in the attack were disturbing, and that the organisation sought an immediate investigation into the matter.

Soon thereafter Mr Nyanga Ngubane was ambushed at Stoffelton near Impendle, while on his way to a meeting in Himeville. Another IFP supporter, Mr Mzamo Shandu, was killed in the attack. Mr Ngubane said police had made no attempt to warn him of any danger. There had also, he said, been 'absolutely no provocation' by the IFP before the ambush. Mr Powell said the incident showed that traditional leaders in the Midlands remained under attack as the ANC tried to expand into rural areas. He accused the ANC of implementing in the Midlands 'exactly the same strategy it had employed in black townships in the 1980s, when councillors were systematically eliminated and their families driven away, with ANC leaders then moving in to fill the vacuum'.

Following the attack, the IFP delegation of which Mr Shandu and Mr Ngubane had formed part abandoned its plans to hold a meeting in Himeville and left. The IFP said the area was becoming a 'no-go' zone for its supporters. It called for the arrest of the ANC's chairman in Impendle, Mr Bhekani Ngubo, in connection with the attack, and said that Mr Ngubo, a prison warder, had organised the ambush in which Mr Shandu had died. The IFP added that it was increasingly concerned about the involvement of prison warders and other members of the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union in political violence.

The ANC stated that the IFP had tried to 'force a political meeting on an unwilling community', while a report in The Natal Witness said that objection had been taken to the presence of Mr David Ntombela in the IFP delegation. It was Mr Ntombela, the report had added, who had given the first order to shoot. Mr Powell responded that 'Mr Ngubane, in his capacity as senior chief, had been approached by people in the area to hold a meeting to discuss problems that had occurred in the area since the murder of Chief David Molefe the previous November'. These problems had included 'people being robbed of their pensions by the local ANC self-defence units and being forced to join the ANC'. Mr Powell added: 'When the convoy of about ten vehicles arrived at Stoffelton the road was barricaded with stones in two places. We moved them out of the way, but when we got to the place where we were to hold the meeting, we were ambushed from both sides of the road.' Mr Shandu was killed in the attack. The people who had gathered for the meeting ran away in fear, and Mr Ngubane called off the meeting to prevent further loss of life.

Also in early January, an IFP Youth Brigade member, Mr Mbukeleni Msomi, was shot dead in the Loskop area of the Midlands. Later in the month, the bodies of two men were found at the Gala location in Bulwer, bringing the death toll in the area to seven since new year's day. In the Gqumeni area near Bulwer, the home of a prominent IFP leader was attacked by armed men. Mr Popo Derrick Khathi returned fire, forcing the attackers to flee. As they went, however, they came across an 11-year-old girl, and shot her dead.

One of the two men earlier found dead was Mr Nabi Khathi. Commenting on his death, a resident of the area said the IFP's strategy was always to 'attack the ANC and kill people'. When IFP members were killed, he continued, 'their bodies were taken to their houses'. The IFP then reported the matter to the police and claimed that its supporters had been attacked. This, he said, was what had happened when Mr Khathi had been killed. Mr Khathi had been shot, he stated, 'while attacking people in Gala'.

Mr Tillet said the IFP lacked the resources to 'play those kinds of political games'. He stated that the ANC was 'engaged in a strategy of destabilisation in at least four areas-Wembezi/Loskop, Bulwer, Impendle and the newly emerging area of Himeville'. 'The ANC,' he continued, 'are currently trying to seize ground in the Gqumeni area-they have killed at least 20 of our members in the Gala area in about four months-and they appear to be achieving a certain degree of success through intimidation and force. The local population do not support the ANC in their hearts.' Mr Powell said an independent team of detectives was needed in Bulwer to investigate the role in violence of the local police, and the extent of paramilitary activity being organised by the ANC.

Some days later, Mr Sifiso Nkabinde and another ANC leader, the MEC for health in the province, Dr Zweli Mkhize, alleged that they had been attacked while on their way to Bulwer to investigate further violence in the Gala reserve. Their bodyguards had returned fire, they said, and two men had been injured. The injured men were subsequently identified as Mr Gamuntu Sithole and Mr Sibusiso Shezi, both IFP members. The IFP, having initially condemned the attack and urged the police to punish the gunmen, later retracted its condemnation of the perpetrators. It had learnt, it said, that the IFP 'attackers' involved in the alleged ambush had been three IFP officials, including Mr Dumisani Khuzwayo, the IFP's regional chairman in the Midlands area, who had been travelling with their security personnel. The IFP said Dr Mkhize's convoy had opened fire on the IFP convoy, injuring the occupants. 'The situation in this province,' it continued, 'has deteriorated to the point where senior ANC political leaders like Dr Mkhize have become directly involved in the violence.'

Towards the end of January an IFP leader, Mr Jabulani Tobi Timothy Sibiya, survived a murder bid when his home at Lindelani (north of Durban) was attacked. Fifteen men, said Mr Tillet, had attacked his house in the early hours of the morning.

In the same month, Mr Mandela announced plans for a new peace initiative, involving the calling of an imbizo by King Goodwill Zwelithini, and the special investigating team deployed on the south coast by the central government in the aftermath of the Shoba-shobane killings said important progress had been made. In early February, six suspects were arrested in Mvutshini in connection with the two attacks in the area in which eight ANC supporters had been killed on 19 December 1995. Local police criticised the raid which culminated in the arrests, saying the action had 'destroyed good relations built up over many months between the local police and KwaXolo residents'. The area was described as 'extremely tense' in the aftermath of the raid. The police said the raid had also broken an agreement between the SAPS and the community in terms of which chiefs were to be informed of planned operations, so that they could explain to residents why they were being carried out.

The following day 300 KwaXolo residents blocked the main road through Margate (on the south coast) to demand the release on bail, by the magistrate's court in the town, of the six suspects arrested. The IFP's leader on the lower south coast, Mr James Zulu, demanded the immediate suspension of the special investigation team, and warned that serious problems would develop if this demand was not met. Bail was refused by the magistrate's court, and Mr Zulu expressed outrage at its decision.

Mr Tillet added that IFP supporters were frustrated by the apparent failure of the special investigation team to probe attacks on its leaders and supporters, and by a criminal justice system which 'seemed to be siding with the ANC'. It was also counterproductive, he said, that police operations in the province were being conducted by 'remote control by ANC bosses in Pretoria'.

Also in early February, the IFP said that a group of ANC supporters in the Midlands region had tried to kill an IFP town councillor, Mr Alex Sokhela, who had gone to the aid of flood victims in Bruntville (Mooi River). Assuming the driver of a relief vehicle to be Mr Sokhela, they had opened fire on him. The driver was in fact a Mr John Mnikathi, who was wounded in the head, shoulder and arm, and was admitted to hospital in a serious condition. Later in the month the IFP accused the SANDF of having shot and wounded an IFP supporter near Loskop, also in the Midlands region. Mr Powell said the SANDF should be withdrawn from the province.

ANC allegations that the IFP and 'third force elements' were responsible for the violence in the province continued, while President Mandela announced in mid-February that new regulations would be brought into operation to ban the carrying of all weapons in public. The SAPS stated that various areas in KwaZulu/Natal would be targeted for top level police action, including aerial reconnaissance and high density patrols.

Later in the month, Mr James Zulu was arrested and charged with the murder of Mr George Mbhele, a regional ANC leader who had been killed in Umzumbe (south coast) in 1994. Mr Velaphi Ndlovu said the arrest confirmed police bias against the IFP. 'There is a directive,' he said, 'to remove the IFP from the local government elections by promulgating political assassination and destroying the leadership.' No one had been arrested, he added, for attacks in 1992 and 1993 in which nearly 20 members of Mr Zulu's immediate family had been killed. The special investigation team, added Mr Tillet, was 'fanning the flames of violence in the province' by its actions. It was rumoured that a thousand IFP supporters were planning to stage a demonstration in Port Shepstone to protest against the arrest of Mr Zulu and other IFP supporters, and a procession of heavily armoured security force vehicles moved into Port Shepstone in response.

Mr Zulu's application for bail was refused by the magistrate's court in Port Shepstone. This followed testimony by the leader of the special investigation unit, Director Bushie Engelbrecht, that Mr Zulu had helped to plan the Shobashobane massacre, tolerated no opposition in the area, and was 'the person who gave orders for murders or attacks on people'. Though bail was later granted by the Natal Provincial Division of the Supreme Court, the state said it would appeal against this ruling to the Appellate Division.

Later in the month, the IFP accused the ANC of involvement in the killing of an IFP-aligned chief in the Midlands region. It said that Chief Shezi Memela-whose death had initially been linked to a tribal feud-had in fact 'fallen prey to the ANC's systematic assault on Midlands communities in the run-up to local government elections'. Three men had dragged Chief Memela from his kraal, shot him with an AK-47 rifle, and mutilated his body with a bush knife. 'His death shows,' said Mr Powell, 'the lengths to which our opponents will go to silence the IFP.'

Some days later in Impendle, SANDF troops were used to create a human shield to prevent clashes between angry ANC and IFP supporters, after IFP supporters had prevented the ANC from holding a meeting at the local church hall by occupying the venue. Mr David Ntombela said there would have been a bloodbath if the ANC had insisted on holding a meeting. Residents of the area were angry, he said, because five people had been killed during Mr Sifiso Nkabinde's earlier visit to Impendle, while the ANC had driven children out of school on one occasion and forced them to attend an ANC meeting.

Five people were killed in the area soon thereafter. Of these, three were shot and killed at a former induna's kraal in an attack in which four other people were also injured. The family said they did not know what the motive for the attack was, as the head of the household, Mr Amos Mazeka, had resigned as an induna some two years previously. Later in the month, tension rose further in the northern region of KwaZulu/Natal when an induna in the Babanango area, Mr Clement Zulu, was shot dead by AK-47 wielding gunmen when he stopped to repair a puncture. In early March, in the Ulundi area, another induna, Mr S M Mnguni, was shot dead by four gunmen while walking to a meeting.

In Umlazi, tension increased when the IFP tried to launch a branch in the township at the end of February, and found the venue occupied by ANC supporters. Police asked the ANC supporters to disperse, which they refused to do. Three IFP members who arrived for the launch were attacked. Shooting broke out, and the police fired tearsmoke and a water cannon to keep the protagonists apart. While the ANC members were dispersing, a police vehicle was shot at. According to the IFP, three of its members were killed. (Two women, believed to be ANC supporters, were reported to have been shot and wounded later by the dispersing IFP crowd.)

In early March, Chief Buthelezi, speaking at an election rally in Eshowe, said that he was no longer able to trust Mr Mandela. 'I deeply regret,' he said, 'that what has happened in South Africa leaves me with no choice but to make the statement that I, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, cannot trust the president of the country. I am saying this is a tragedy for our country because I have tried everything I can do to build a new climate of trust between myself and President Mandela.' The ANC said in response that 'hate speeches' could not solve the serious problems existing between itself and the IFP. The major task, it added, was for leaders on both sides to 'rise above sectarian politics' and create a climate of trust for the coming imbizo. Chief Buthelezi later reiterated that his trust in Mr Mandela was 'at its lowest ebb'. This was because of various factors, including the ANC's refusal to honour its agreement on international mediation. In addition, said Chief Buthelezi, he was disappointed that Mr Mandela had approved a report by a task group in the province that seemed to blame the IFP alone for the conflict. He accused Umkhonto of training hit squads in the province, and added that Umkhonto operatives were now being honoured, while Inkatha members involved in violence were facing police investigation. 'The hit squads of the ANC,' he continued, 'are already being called veterans, they are being given military awards, they have been given pensions.' Meanwhile, police investigations continued to ignore the deaths of some 430 IFP leaders.

In late March another IFP leader, Mr Sgcoloza Xolo, was arrested on the south coast in connection with the killing of eight ANC supporters in Mvutshini on 19 December 1995. This brought to 23-out of a total of 27 people arrested-the number of IFP supporters apprehended in the region since the deployment of the special investigation unit.

Also towards the end of March, 11 people (including two children) were killed near Donnybrook in the Midlands region, and the ANC claimed the victims were its supporters, and that police had been involved in the attack. Mr Louis Thiele, the station commander at Donnybrook, denied this. He added that the IFP claimed that the victims were its own supporters and that the attack had been perpetrated by the ANC. Dr Mdlalose urged witnesses to help police in their investigations so that the killers could be tracked down as quickly as possible. 'The murder will be fully investigated,' he said, 'and the perpetrators of this heinous act will face the full wrath of the law.' Mr Nyanga Ngubane denied that the IFP was to blame for the attack, and said the killings could have been related to the recent assassination of Chief Shezi Memela in the area.

Also in late March, three inmates of the ANC-supporting Glebelands Hostel in Umlazi were shot dead in fighting between inmates aligned to the South African Communist Party and those supporting the ANC. The three men died when 'gunmen wearing uniforms resembling those of the defence force opened fire in the corridors of the hostel's M and O sections at about 6pm. Two inmates died on the scene and another on the way to hospital'. In addition, four people were shot dead in the IFP-supporting T-section of the township.

Soon thereafter an ANC local government candidate, Mr Daniel Danisa, was gunned down in Umlazi as he drove away from a meeting held with IFP leaders over plans to upgrade railway stations in the township. Mr Makhaye said the ANC had no doubt this was the beginning of a campaign to eliminate ANC leaders. Mr Tillet responded that the ANC was wrong in blaming the IFP for Mr Danisa's death. IFP supporters, he said, would not have killed Mr Danisa, who had been involved in a project aimed at improving their living conditions.

At the funeral of the 11 victims of the Donnybrook massacre in March, Mr Bheki Cele said the IFP 'sustained itself on violence' and that Dr Mdlalose-who had earlier taken over the safety and security portfolio in the province from Mr Celani Mthethwa-had become 'the MEC of massacres'. Mr Steve Tshwete, the minister for sport and recreation and a leading member of the ANC, told the crowd the violence stemmed from Chief Buthelezi's thwarted ambitions, and stated that the IFP was a 'bandits' organisation', responsible for 'terrorising people by day and night'.

Following the funeral, the bodyguards of three prominent ANC leaders-Messrs Nkabinde, Tshwete and Zuma-blocked the main road between Ixopo and Bulwer and opened fire on a car in which an IFP youth leader, Mr Sicelo Dlamini, and other IFP supporters were travelling. Mr Dlamini abandoned his car and escaped into thick bush beside the road. He returned later and found that one of his passengers was missing. The IFP called for the arrest of the three ANC leaders, saying they had incited violence at the Donnybrook funeral. The ANC said in response that it was 'high time for the IFP to stop playing politics with violence'. 'It is unbelievable,' said Mr Sifiso Nkabinde, 'to hear the IFP calling for these arrests when they haven't even made calls for the arrest of those who carried out the Donnybrook killings.'

Two days before the funeral an IFP leader, Mr Damasius Khumalo, a candidate for the party in Impendle, was abducted and shot dead in the Midlands. Mr Powell said an ANC campaign to assassinate IFP candidates in the region was continuing. Some days later, Dr Jiyane stated that a bid had been made to assassinate an IFP candidate in the Pongola area, a Mr Simon Ntshangase. Mr Ntshangase had survived, he said, but three members of his family had been killed and another seriously injured, when gunmen opened fire on four people as they lay asleep.

Towards the end of the month, Mr Mufamadi announced a ban in 74 magisterial districts on the display and possession of dangerous weapons. The ban extended to 17 districts in KwaZulu/Natal, and to various categories of traditional weapons, including assegais, knob-kierries and spears. Firearms were not included, on the basis that they were already prohibited by other legislation.

Chief Buthelezi said in response it would be impossible for the security forces to disarm Zulus of their cultural accoutrements. He added that the ban had further soured relations between himself and Mr Mandela. Moreover, added Dr Mdlalose, it was not cultural weapons but firearms which were primarily used in political violence. 'The murders which have been committed in this province,' said Dr Mdlalose, 'have always been caused by bullets.' Thousands of IFP supporters, armed with knobkerries, spears and axes, defied the ban when they attended a rally addressed by Chief Buthelezi on the day after its promulgation.

Mr Tillet said the IFP had no objection to a ban on dangerous weapons, but that traditional weapons-spears, sticks, knobkerries and shields-should be excluded from its ambit. Their seizure, he said, would result in the 'psychological emasculation of Zulu men'. The SAPS in KwaZulu/Natal said it would consult political parties in the province before enforcing the ban, and would want to avoid 'repressive measures' in doing so. The safety and security ministry in Pretoria said, however, that a crackdown would begin immediately, while the IFP stated that it might take the ban to the Constitutional Court on the grounds that it violated Zulus' 'cultural and human rights'. Chiefs and headmen in the province met near Ulundi to discuss the ban, and said the central government would face a rebellion if it continued 'tramping' on the Zulu nation. (In the eastern Cape, traditional leaders also said they would defy the ban.)

At the end of March, Mr Fivaz said the SAPS would intensify the hunt for 'mass killers', while additional national investigative task units (NITUs) would be established and sent to KwaZulu/Natal as a priority. In response, Mr Powell said the existing NITUs had had only a 2% success rate in bringing prosecutions against the murderers of some 430 IFP officials. The IFP called for an end to the NITUs and other special units which carried out 'politically partisan policing' in the province.

In mid-April President Mandela called for the postponement or staggering of local polls due to be held in KwaZulu/Natal on 29 May. He and Mr Zuma said this was necessary because of the level of fatalities in the province, the number of 'no-go areas' within it, and the extent of the irregularities in voter registration. Postponement was rejected as unnecessary by the DP and NP as well as by the IFP. Following the attack on Queen Buhle in KwaMashu at the end of April, the ANC resolved to embark on a campaign of mass action in support of its demand for postponement of the polls. Mass action was also necessary, it said, because 'the most backward and criminal forces' were in control of the province, while recent history had demonstrated that 'the forces of peace, democracy and development had never achieved anything through negotiations that were not accompanied by mass action'.

The IFP responded that rolling mass action was likely to fuel violence in the province. Dr Mdlalose urged all responsible people not to participate in the ANC's planned mass action campaign, called Operation Bambatha. 'Those who claim that the May 29 elections should be postponed because of violence, and yet want to stir people's emotions through the so-called Bambatha operation, should take responsibility,' he said, 'for the violence which may follow such demonstrations.'

In late April the SAPS denied that any of the suspects arrested in connection with the Shobashobane massacre had been tortured. At the end of the month, one of these suspects, Mr Mdikilwa Nyawose, died in Durban-Westville Prison-and police attributed this to an asthma attack. A post-mortem was conducted, and a state pathologist found that Mr Nyawose had died of bronchial asthma.

In early May nine hostel residents in KwaMashu were arrested in connection with the attack on the palace earlier in the month, and IFP supporters staged a protest march at the police station in the township. An editorial in The Citizen described the protest differently from other accounts. It said that 3 000 hostel residents had staged a half-hour demonstration outside the police station to demand the release of the nine suspects. After talks with senior policemen, they had agreed to return to their hostel. Later in the day, in another demonstration, some 1000 hostel residents had converged on the police station but had agreed to disperse at 5pm. Dr Jiyane said the demonstrators had been misguided, and could have been 'inspired by IFP opponents suspected of infiltrating the hostel'. Dr Jiyane also welcomed the arrests, but said judgement should not be passed on the guilt of the accused prior to their trial.

A few days later the IFP-aligned National Hostel Residents' Association organised a march through Durban in protest against the ban on carrying traditional weapons in public. A gun battle broke out between police and protesters-and at least nine people were injured, including three policemen. According to an editorial in the Sowetan, some of the marchers had carried AK-47 rifles, while the ANC had 'positioned snipers along the route to shoot them with high-powered automatic rifles. Both groups opened fire'. Police arrested some marchers and a sniper. 'Two other snipers-who shot a policeman in the back, wounded another and shot a marcher in the leg-escaped.' The IFP said party supporters had defied orders not to take part in the march. It blamed agents provocateurs for the violence, and said the gunfire was aimed at scuttling local government elections in the province. 'We are very shaken by what happened during the march The march took place against our instructions to our members,' said Dr Jiyane, 'because we are at a very critical time where the ANC will look for any excuse to have the elections called off.'

In mid-May, four policemen were arrested in connection with the Shobashobane massacre and a warrant of arrest was issued for a fifth police officer, while five other policemen remained under investigation. Soon thereafter, the outcome of an investigation into the alleged failure of police to react to warnings of the Christmas Day attack on Shobashobane was released. The investigation had been led by the police reporting officer for the province, Mr Neville Melville, who stated that he had found insufficient evidence to substantiate the claims of police misconduct.

The attorney general of KwaZulu/Natal, Mr Tim McNally, said in response that no prosecution of police officers on charges of culpable homicide would be instigated. The acting provincial police commissioner, Mr Thomas Bezuidenhout, said no stone had been left unturned in the investigation. Its outcome-together with Mr McNally's decision-had vindicated the position of the senior police officers concerned. These officers had been 'the victims of circumstances beyond their control'. The murders, he continued, 'arose directly as a result of the sickening political rivalry and intolerance of the ANC and IFP supporters in the area. The SAPS is sick and tired of attempts by political parties to make them scapegoats for the violence perpetrated by their followers'.

Also in mid-May, church leaders from KwaZulu/Natal and elsewhere announced that a peace initiative would soon be launched to help reduce the incidence of violence in the province prior to the local polls. The announcement of this peace plan, called Project Ukuthula, followed discussions on the issue between Mr Mandela and various church leaders. The latter said a peace conference would be held on 13 June, to be attended by Mr Mandela, Chief Buthelezi, and King Goodwill Zwelithini.

The end of May witnessed further progress towards peace, following intensive talks between the ANC and the IFP aimed at resolving the deep differences between them. Dr Mdlalose said provincial leaders from both parties had had three 'heart-to-heart' talks in recent weeks, at which both sides had admitted that their members had made 'tragic mistakes'. Mr Tillet warned, however, that peace would not easily be achieved. 'It will be a long process and suspicion and mistrust will have to be removed. The ANC will also have to show a commitment to resolve constitutional differences with the IFP,' he said.

In further developments at the end of May, 'warlords' from both the ANC and the IFP agreed that they would visit each other's strongholds together to canvass voters in the local government elections. Mr Mandela and Chief Buthelezi also welcomed the peace initiatives and urged provincial leaders to work on a detailed programme for peace.

Speaking at a local government elections rally in late May, Chief Buthelezi said that political violence in the province was being fuelled by bias against his party by elements in the security forces. Members of the SANDF, police, and intelligence services were siding with the ANC in the province, he stated. 'The first problem is that SANDF members who are blatantly hostile to the IFP have been drafted into the province. Similarly, there is growing evidence that intelligence structures in the province are being subverted for political ends. The situation is made even worse by the deployment of former members of Umkhonto as soldiers and as policemen.'

Towards the end of the month the IFP claimed that Capt Vilakazi, the head of the NITU in northern KwaZulu/Natal, had tortured and assaulted nine IFP members taken into custody by the unit. It added that an IFP supporter, Mr Ngiyane Mhlongo, had died in suspicious circumstances on 28 April after being arrested earlier in the month. The correctional services department said that Mr Mhlongo had died at an Eshowe hospital, and not in prison. A spokesman for the department, Mr Bert Slabbert, said Mr Mhlongo had fallen in his cell and was taken to hospital where he died three days later of a broken neck. A departmental inquiry was under way, he said, and police had opened a murder docket. (Capt Vilakazi was subsequently replaced as head of the unit by Superintendent Doep du Preez, but was reinstated in September.)

A report in the Financial Mail said various explanations had been given by the authorities for Mr Mhlongo's death. According to one, Mr Mhlongo suffered from fits; according to a second, he had died from injuries sustained in a motor accident; while a third report attributed his death to a 'fall from a prison bunk'. A post-mortem conducted by an independent pathologist, Mr G R Perumal, confirmed that Mr Mhlongo had died from a broken neck. The fracture pointed to a 'significant application of force' and seemed inconsistent with injuries sustained in a fall from a bunk. (Having later conducted an on-site inspection, however, Mr Perumal said it was possible that the neck injury responsible for Mr Mhlongo's death had been caused by a fall from his bunk.)

The IFP referred nine allegations of assault on the part of Capt Vilakazi to Mr Neville Melville for investigation. Mr Melville said he was also investigating two other instances of alleged torture and assault of IFP supporters by members of the SAPS. In the first, Mr Falakhe Mkhwanazi had stated (in an untested affidavit) that he had repeatedly been punched and kicked by police following his arrest in late 1995, and had later been 'thrown into the Tugela River, first after he had been tied up with rope and then after a plastic bag had been tied around his head'. In the second, Mr Kenneth Nene had stated (also in an untested affidavit) that he had been 'threatened and assaulted by police until he made a confession implicating himself and several men named by his interrogators' in the murder of a Mr Dudu Mthembu. Mr Hugh Lee, an IFP MPL, told the Financial Mail that he had 'compiled a dossier of alleged brutality against IFP members by policemen operating north of the Tugela River'. He added that IFP suspects were 'less likely to be granted bail than their ANC counterparts', and were being held as long as seven months without being charged.

In early June a report in the Sunday Times said the IFP had 18 paramilitary training sites in KwaZulu/Natal, and that ANC SDUs were also being trained. Chief Buthelezi said he had no knowledge of alleged secret training camps for IFP supporters. He added that he took 'very strong exception' to the intelligence reports regarding paramilitary training in the province. Members of the government of national unity, he said, were regularly briefed on security issues, but had not been told of any such training. Mr Powell said that the reports were 'an attempt by the ANC to deflect attention from the fact that they were training their own members'. The police had been informed of seven alleged ANC training areas, he continued, but were reluctant to take action because of the political sensitivity of the matter. ANC supporters, he added, were believed to have received training in the use of live ammunition in the strife-torn Donnybrook area in the previous week, while SDU training was also taking place at Bulwer, Mpumalanga, Stoffelton and Wembezi (all in the Midlands region) as well as in Stanger and Vryheid (in northern KwaZulu/Natal). The training being provided for the IFP, stated Mr Powell, was of a non-military nature, by contrast. Those who had previously been trained to take part in SPUs were now being given physical training, through jogging and other activities, prior to their integration into the SANDF.

Police subsequently said they had investigated allegations regarding paramilitary training camps in the province, and had found none. Mr Bushie Engelbrecht said his unit had followed up on numerous leads but had made no headway. It was suspected, he added, that press coverage of the issue had made those involved in training lie low.

In early June Chief Buthelezi proposed that he and Mr Mandela should promote the peace process by holding joint rallies in troubled areas. He regretted, he said, that plans for a joint rally at Taylor's Halt in the Midlands region, which he and Mr Mandela were to have held in April 1990, had collapsed. 'It was a very serious mistake,' he said, 'for the history of this country would have been quite different.' The IFP president said he was confident that the current peace initiative would yield results, for the two delegations were 'talking deeply rather than diplomatically'. Conflict resolution mechanisms should also be established in areas where violence was acute, while tolerance should become the hallmark of politics. 'Get rid of political intolerance,' he said, 'and we will be on our way to peace.'

Peace initiatives took further form in mid-June with the announcement that a series of committees had been formed to win support for the process at grassroots level, and to draft a code of conduct to govern the behaviour of both ANC and IFP members. The peace conference convened by church leaders took place in Durban on 13 June, and witnessed calls for peace from the Zulu monarch and from Mr Jacob Zuma. Dr Mdlalose said the province had always been keen to end violence, and that many methods had been tried before to bring about peace, but without success. He welcomed recent peace initiatives, including the Ukuthula project, for the part they played in reinforcing calls for peace.

While most ANC leaders from the province thereafter reiterated calls for peace at a rally in KwaMashu on Youth Day (16 June), one of the organisations's national leaders, Mr Peter Mokaba, used the occasion to lambaste the IFP. Apartheid had been defeated in other parts of the country, he stated, but had 'continued in KwaZulu/Natal in the form of the IFP, Chief Buthelezi and Dr Frank Mdlalose'. Mr Mokaba also told the rally that the IFP was not a party of peace, and that 'the violence in the province was actually organised and symbolised by Inkatha'. (Mr Mokaba's speech was subsequently condemned by all parties, including the ANC.)

Speaking at a Youth Day rally at Mpembeni (northern KwaZulu/Natal), Chief Buthelezi again proposed joint action by himself and Mr Mandela to end the violence. 'I believe,' he said, 'that the time has come for me and the president of the ANC to go out there and stop the people killing each other.' A culture of tolerance would have to be created, as well as effective conflict-resolving mechanisms. What was most needed, however, was action rather than words. 'Our people do not take peace initiatives seriously any more because of the failure of so many gestures in the past. We cannot afford any more of these types of failures, so we need very careful and serious planning to take bold steps for peace. Our actions should this time speak louder than words.'

Towards the end of June-on the eve of local government elections in the province-three IFP-supporting members of the Mbanjwa family, including a young child, were killed in their sleep in Nkwezela township near Donnybrook. Mr Dumisani Khuzwayo blamed the killings on the ANC, saying 'it has always been their intention to wipe us out'. Both he and Mr Sifiso Nkabinde urged, however, that peace endeavours continue.

Two days before the local poll an IFP official, Mr Sam Khumalo, was killed while parking his car outside his home in Umlazi. Mr Tillet said Mr Khumalo had been shot dead by a group of men who had been waiting for him outside his home. It was unclear, he added, whether the attack had been politically motivated or the work of criminals. The night before the elections another IFP official, Mr Dababa Mbonambi, chairman of the Dendethu branch of the IFP at Mandini on the north coast, was killed by three men claiming to be policemen. (Three people were subsequently arrested in connection with his killing by members of the NITU in the area.)

In mid-July an IFP official, Mr Ronald Bhali Mabizela, chairman of the Inkatha Youth Brigade in Moyeni, was killed at his home in Loskop. Another IFP member, Mr Philani Mchunu, was shot and wounded in the Nkwezela section of Wembezi township, outside Estcourt. In addition, five houses belonging to IFP members were burnt down in the Loskop area. Mr Powell said both the ANC and the IFP needed to take urgent action to prevent further loss of life in the Okhahlamba area. 'The IFP,' he said, 'believes the killings are linked to its massive election win in the Okhahlamba region.'

In July the IFP said that continued attacks on its leaders placed recent peace initiatives in jeopardy. The IFP said a heavily armed group had attacked the home in Gomane of the IFP's regional chairman in the Impendle area, Mr Steven Zondi. 'The attackers shot dead Mr Zondi's 17-year-old son and a Mr Leonard Zuma before fleeing in the direction of Impendle village.' Police in Impendle, moreover, had refused to respond to the family's call for assistance, and it appeared that policing in the area had totally collapsed. The IFP added that another of its members, Mr Boy Zondi, had been shot dead the following day while attending a wedding in the Nzinga ward of Impendle. Mr Zondi was killed, said the IFP, 'in the presence of policemen who were attending the wedding of their colleague'.

Later in the month, Chief Buthelezi expressed reservations about the sincerity of the ANC's commitment to peace. 'The truth of the matter,' he continued, 'is that while the ANC talks the language of peace and spreads rumours about reconciliation with the IFP, it continues to do everything in its power to crush IFP structures and undermine our actions of governance in KwaZulu/Natal.' He later reiterated the IFP's own commitment to peace and said that the two parties should agree to differ on policy issues without acrimony or recrimination.

At the IFP's national conference at the end of July, delegates applauded the peace initiative, and said it was intended to bring about a cessation of hostilities. Chief Buthelezi again expressed reservations, however, regarding the ANC's commitment to peace. He warned that the peace initiative would remain 'an empty shell' unless the ANC showed a greater willingness to resolve constitutional disputes between the two parties, and to trust the provincial administration with the policing of the province instead of trying to control this from Pretoria. The ANC's refusal to accede to international mediation was also a 'crucial impediment' to normalising relations, while 'those who believed the ANC was genuinely committed to peace needed their heads read'. 'The violence and intimidation waged by ANC forces in KwaZulu/Natal has not subsided,' said Chief Buthelezi, 'and yet a lot of publicity has been given that there is peace and reconciliation between the IFP and ANC.'

Soon thereafter three IFP youths were shot dead, execution style, in Donnybrook. Their bodies were found lying on their stomachs, with bullet wounds to their heads. The IFP identified the dead as Mr Muntongazi Sokhela, Mr Makhosini Sabelo and a Mr Ngcobo. An IFP spokesman, Mr Themba Nzimande, said another IFP member had been shot and wounded near Ixopo (also in the Midlands), while the home of Mr Bhekumbuso Memela, an IFP leader in the Nomandlovu area of Donnybrook, had been attacked as well. The home in Mhubheni (near Estcourt) of Ms Margaret Ntsele, another IFP leader, had also been gutted in an attack.

In early August, ANC-aligned SDUs acknowledged that they had been receiving paramilitary training by members of the SANDF. Three members of one SDU said that they received 'regular training by former Umkhonto we Sizwe members who had since joined the SANDF'. They also stated that the ANC was supplying them with arms with which to 'defend their communities'. Describing the scope of SDU activities in the region, the youths said 'they staked out no-go areas and kept night-long vigils to guard against possible attacks from the IFP'. They added that 'they wanted peace, but the communities were not ready for it'. Asked if any of them had killed anyone, one replied, 'I have killed four.'

In August a gun battle broke out outside the Natal Provincial Division of the Supreme Court in Pietermaritzburg, where seven IFP supporters were being tried for the murder in Impendle of four members of the SAPS and an informer in September 1995. Four IFP supporters and one other person were injured in the fracas, which started on the steps of the court after an adjournment. Mr Powell blamed the ANC for the violence, saying its Impendle branch had engaged in a 'totally unacceptable act of war'. Both Mr Sifiso Nkabinde and Mr David Ntombela were reported to have drawn firearms in the course of the incident, and pointed them at each other. The conflict spread later to the KwaZulu/ Natal legislature, which was sitting in Pietermaritzburg. (Both Mr Nkabinde and Mr Ntombela later denied that they had drawn guns on each other and no witnesses came forward to substantiate the allegations.)

In response to the incident, Mr Mufamadi stated that he was considering imposing a countrywide ban on the public display of firearms. He added that 'the gun-toting smacked of a form of recklessness and lawlessness which South Africa could not afford', and that both Dr Mdlalose and Mr Zuma would have to consider 'whether KwaZulu/Natal's fragile peace process could afford such leaders'. Mr Fivaz said he had instructed Mr Chris Serfontein to confiscate the weapons displayed outside the court building, and to subject them to forensic testing to ascertain whether they had been used either during the gun battle or in any other violent crimes. He added that he would institute proceedings to determine whether those who had recklessly displayed their arms where 'fit to legally own or carry any firearm'. In mid-September, the possession of firearms at any public gathering was prohibited by the government.

Also in August, the ANC made a submission to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), in which it said it had always sought to avoid the killing of civilians and that the necklacing of individuals in the townships had been attributable to 'false flag' operations conducted by agents of the former NP government. The IFP commented that the ANC's submission 'contained glaring omissions, notably its failure to talk about its role in the KwaZulu/Natal violence and its programme to eliminate IFP leaders'. Said Mr Tillet: 'We want the ANC to come clean and tell us who within their ranks has been involved in issuing instructions to foot soldiers to kill IFP leaders.'

In late August, two IFP supporters were killed in the Bulwer area. In the first incident, said Mr Tillet, four men posing as policemen approached the Ndlovu homestead in the Gqumeni area at about 9,45pm. Mr Mzwamandla Ndlovu, aged 20 years, was abducted and killed. In the second, Mr Elphas Mchunu was shot dead in his car in Gqumeni and his passenger, Mr Jeffery Mthembu, was wounded. About 30 R-4 rifle cartridges and 13 AK-47 rifle cartridges were found on the scene. Mr Tillet called on Mr Nkabinde to 'expose rogue elements inside his organisation who were continuing to mount attacks on IFP-supporting communities in the KwaZulu/Natal Midlands, despite a provincial IFP/ANC ceasefire'.

Mr Tillet added that the region was a 'contested' area in which the ANC was attempting to consolidate and extend its capacity for control. He stated that between 15 and 20 IFP members had been killed in the region since the peace initiative had commenced in May, and warned that violence in the area could readily spin out of control.

Soon thereafter Mr Dumisani Khuzwayo was attacked near Donnybrook-and the IFP called on Mr Mandela to honour his earlier undertaking to hold joint rallies with Chief Buthelezi. Mr Tillet said Mr Khuzwayo and three companions had been confronted at Junction location by a hostile crowd of ANC supporters on their way to a funeral in Bulwer. 'The crowd threw stones and fired shots at Mr Khuzwayo's car.' The IFP leader stopped his car and his bodyguards returned fire, forcing the crowd to retreat. One person in the crowd was believed to have been wounded. The IFP stated that intervention by the provincial and national leadership of the ANC was vital to 'nip building tensions in the bud'.

In September the IFP presented its submission to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). Chief Buthelezi apologised to Mr Mandela and other ANC leaders, saying: 'From my part I wish to say that I am sorry for any hurt that I have caused the ANC leadership.' He also apologised for the fact that IFP members had been drawn into the conflict between the two organisations, and said: 'Although I have not orchestrated one single act of violence against one single victim of the political violence that has cost so many lives, as the leader of the IFP I know that the buck stops right in front of me.' He added, however, that he had never personally played a role in the strife between the ANC and IFP, and had also had no part in the violence of the apartheid era.

Chief Buthelezi added that, if the TRC wanted to establish the truth about the country's past, it would have to examine and explain the assassination of some 420 IFP leaders and the murder of thousands of its supporters. 'These serial killings are a crime against humanity and demand answers,' he said. 'Nowhere else in the world,' he continued, 'would killing on such a grand scale go unchallenged. Moreover, if the ANC is correct in saying that the IFP was an apartheid surrogate, then the NP government was not responsible for killing them.'

Dr Mdlalose added that the IFP and KwaZulu had been the target of 'ANC destabilisation campaigns since the failed meeting of IFP and ANC leaders in London in 1979'. 'From then onwards,' he stated, 'Inkatha was singled out as an enemy because it refused to crook the knee to the ANC, or accept its strategy of armed struggle and the destruction of South Africa's economy.' Moreover, the IFP and Chief Buthelezi had been 'singled out for vitriolic attacks, many of which took the form of blatant appeals for murder'. In contrast to the ANC, the IFP's leadership had never authorised acts of violence for political purposes, though some of its members had been 'drawn into violence'. Dr Ben Ngubane, the IFP's MEC for agriculture and finance in KwaZulu/Natal, added that some 1 100 IFP members had been killed between September 1991 (when the National Peace Accord was concluded) and August 1996. In all, since the start of the ANC's armed struggle in 1961, about 14 000 IFP supporters had been murdered by the ANC and the UDF in their endeavours to render the country ungovernable and eliminate political opposition.

Explaining Continued Conflict in 1995 and 1996

In the viewpoint of the IFP, the period from 1995 to 1996 witnessed further endeavours by the ANC to assert an overarching hegemony over a province which remained in significant measure a bastion of IFP support.

The ANC sought, first, to use the Zulu monarch in this regard, endeavouring to establish a rival provincial administration under the auspices of King Goodwill Zwelithini which would operate under its effective control and help to undermine an already embattled provincial government. The ANC sought also to bring the amakhosi within its sphere of influence by promising to give them substantial salaries, as well as official residences, cars and drivers. The purpose of this intended largesse was readily discernible-to 'buy off a key part of Chief Buthelezi's support base and erode his rural constituency', in the hope that 'Inkatha would disappear or evaporate along with the problem of instability in the region'. The proposal demonstrated, in addition, the extent to which the ANC was prepared to sacrifice the national good to achieve its narrow political purposes-for this level of remuneration could not logically be confined to chiefs in KwaZulu/Natal alone and would substantially increase a tax burden already high.

The ANC's treatment of the mediation issue was symptomatic, moreover, of its willingness to use fair means or foul in order to attain its goals. Honour was betrayed by the ANC's refusal to give effect to its commitment, and the IFP's trust in the ANC was yet further eroded. The IFP nevertheless endeavoured-in engaging with the ANC in bilateral negotiations in October 1996-to minimise the issue. In trying once again to reach a constitutional settlement, the IFP went into negotiations 'with a clean slate-without any shopping list, without preconditions, without a sense of grudge against the ANC'. The latter remained, however, as intransigent as ever.

The IFP, moreover, had always been willing to resolve constitutional issues without the help of outside experts. 'It was only because the ANC was so obstinate and obdurate in refusing any element of federalism that the IFP decided it would be useful to get outside input'. 'But this was our final option,' said Mr Tillet in October 1996. 'We knew that it would not be binding on the ANC in any event. We simply wanted the transitional constitution to be assessed on the extent to which it promoted a centralised state. And we also sought outside views on whether a centralised or a federal government would be more appropriate for our heterogeneous, pluralistic society, in which natural divisions have been sharply reinforced by decades of social engineering.'

The ANC, however, not only reneged on its commitment regarding international mediation, but also refused to make any substantive concession towards federalism at all. The compromises it made were nominal only, and incapable of resolving the key questions. The significance of these concessions was exaggerated by the ANC, moreover, and used by it to 'string the IFP along by granting peripheral concessions which did nothing to address the IFP's concerns'. The media, moreover, played the ANC's game in this regard-hailing any compromise it made as a significant breakthrough and chiding the IFP for its continued 'recalcitrance'. 'The IFP has been portrayed,' said Mr Tillet, 'as truculent, irrational, inconsistent (now in, now out of the Constitutional Assembly), as riven by internal dissension. All in all, the reporting and characterisation of the IFP has been extremely negative.' By contrast, the ANC's protestations of good faith and commitment to democratic principle were taken at face value, and rarely probed more deeply.

The final constitution which emerged from the Constitutional Assembly-through the two-stage process dominated by the ANC-was not, as it claimed, the 'birth certificate' of a new nation committed to freedom and equality. Instead, it was a totalitarian and socialistic document, which could be used to sound the death knell for political pluralism. Moreover, the IFP's endeavours to craft a federalist provincial constitution were brought to naught by the ANC's intransigence, and it seemed unlikely that the draft would ever be reformulated. To attempt this would be an exercise in futility, for any future constitution adopted by KwaZulu/Natal would have to conform with the new national constitution-in which the measure of provincial autonomy permitted was meagre indeed.

The Shell House issue, moreover, remained an issue of critical concern. There was no truth, according to the IFP, in ANC allegations that Inkatha, together with the police, had planned to attack the ANC's headquarters in March 1994. The key issue was the ANC's own conduct-not only in relation to the shootings but also as regards the subsequent investigation by the police. 'It is quite extraordinary,' said the IFP, 'that the last batch of weapons should have been handed over only in July 1996. How can you take fingerprint records or do ballistic tests on weapons handed in two years late? It is a total farce.'

Particularly chilling, however, were the continued attacks on IFP leaders and supporters in KwaZulu/Natal-and the role the security forces had begun to play in this regard. Fatalities had declined from the levels witnessed in 1994, and some of the 'more overt manifestations of the conflict had gone into retreat'. It was a fallacy, however, to believe that the violence had ended. 'It became instead a more subterranean conflict, with an institutional character. IFP activists became targets for assassination under cover of state agencies-especially the SANDF and SAPS.'

The SANDF-incorporating former Umkhonto cadres implacably opposed to the IFP-was particularly to blame in this regard, but nevertheless refused to investigate the IFP's numerous allegations against it. 'In early 1996 we submitted a whole volume of evidence to substantiate our allegations against the SANDF,' said Mr Tillet. 'We gave it to the SANDF and a senior officer from Natal command was brought before the provincial portfolio committee on safety and security to answer the allegations. The SANDF, however, dodged responsibility for rogue elements within its ranks. Its knee-jerk reaction was to be defensive, and intolerant of criticism.' The result was that no criminal prosecution was brought against members of the SANDF for harassing, assaulting and even murdering IFP supporters-and people at grassroots level began to lose faith in both the army and the system of criminal justice. 'They saw them as instruments aimed at attacking political opponents of the ANC.'

Overall, the ANC's approach to the continued conflict in the province was to 'send in the armour'. This response, however, was 'like pressing down one end of a balloon. All it meant was that the other tended to rise up'. The ANC was mistaken in imagining that it could 'stifle dissent by using strong arm tactics', for to believe this was to misread human nature. The ANC was trying to 'paralyse people into non-resistance by resorting to brute force and military strength. It had deployed a 'force of occupation in the province', even though this approach had no realistic prospect of success.

The security crackdown had also been counter-productive, for it had unleashed a groundswell of anger and rejection among IFP supporters. There was deep-seated resentment of the fact that security operations were 'directed by remote control from Pretoria', bypassing Dr Mdlalose in his capacity as MEC for safety and security. Anger was further fuelled, moreover, by the differential treatment accorded ANC and IFP supporters by the police and army in the province. This difference in approach was evident in three important spheres at least-in the protection accorded communities from attack, in the conduct of searches and seizures, and in the focus of police investigations into violence.

Differential security force protection was, according to the IFP, one of the key factors that sparked the attack on Shobashobane in December 1995. In January 1995, ANC youths had returned to the area, claiming to be refugees-though many in fact came from the Durban townships. 'They began steadily to bring in further recruits to reinforce their numbers', and it was not long before the ANC had succeeded in establishing 'a paramilitary force, an extended SDU' in Shobashobane. In doing so, it took advantage of the topography of the area, which 'naturally detached it from the other wards' in the Izingolweni district. Shobashobane became an ANC enclave, and was used by the ANC 'as a springboard for attacking the surrounding IFP communities'. As in the past, the ANC aimed to 'capture one ward, and then the next, until it had captured all the wards in the district'.

'I cannot tell you,' said Mr Tillet, 'how many attacks on IFP-supporting communities followed. There was very little retaliation. There could well have been a desire for revenge, but the SAPS and SANDF were providing Shobashobane with 24-hour security. When taxis and buses went from Shobashobane into Port Shepstone, they were given military escorts. People on the IFP side were angry at this. They were given nothing. There were some 200 000 IFP supporters spread across Izingolweni-and they got no protection at all.'

The situation became increasingly explosive, and the IFP tried repeatedly to warn the security forces of impending tragedy. 'I can only assume,' continued Mr Tillet, 'that local community leaders, in the end, decided to take the law into their own hands. People had had enough. The IFP had issued countless warnings, without effect. Many total innocents had been killed in the attacks mounted from Shobashobane-mostly women and children. The situation reached a point where it just exploded. It was very like the Seven Days' War in 1990, where frustration at continual harassment and attack finally boiled over.'

There was anger, also, at the selective targeting of searches for illegal weapons on various occasions. In the Loskop area, for example, 'there were repeated raids on areas which were well known to be IFP areas. But there were no corresponding raids on ANC areas'. In addition, police tended to focus their raids on 'soft targets', particularly hostels, which could easily be sealed off and searched. 'It was far more difficult, and required more manpower and better strategising, to raid a formal sector of a township. People knew this, and lots of high calibre weapons were stored in townships.' Fuelling tension yet further was the ANC's failure to surrender the arms caches assembled in the province by Umkhonto cadres in the early 1990s. The ANC's stance on the issue of illegal weapons was regarded thus as 'the height of political hypocrisy'-particularly as the organisation had promised repeatedly, prior to the April 1994 election, that its arms would be recalled once a democratic government was in place.

Anger rose also at partisan investigation of violence by the police-especially the special investigation units. 'There seemed to be a degree of zeal in trying to nail the IFP's supporters and convict them which was not present when it came to ANC members involved in violence.' This perception was further strengthened by the Malan trial and its outcome, for the acquittal of Gen Malan and his co-accused showed that political pressure had been brought to bear on the prosecution to institute proceedings-and that the ITU responsible for gathering the evidence (which proved so flawed during the trial) was 'operating in accordance with its own shadowy agenda and using assault, bribery and other illegal means' to try and implicate the IFP in heinous acts of violence.

Resentment arose, in addition, from the differential treatment accorded the victims of violence in the province. 'There was a good deal of disgruntled feeling and frustration at perceived discrimination regarding victims of violence. If there was a massacre and the victims were ANC, the government sent a delegation. It descended on the province to comfort the bereaved, it made high-level political speeches. This did not happen, however, if the victims were IFP.'

All that brought some measure of relief to embattled IFP supporters in the province was the peace initiative begun in May 1996. This had been initiated in the run-up to the local polls, when violence started to escalate in contested areas. 'Things were steadily deteriorating. There was a series of massacres-at Mandini, and in the Midlands. There were a number of incidents involving high profile members of the provincial legislature, with bodyguards involved in shootouts. The situation looked very tense, and seemed likely to end in all-out violent conflict as it had in 1994. The parties drew back from the abyss and said they did not want the same again. They would have to nip it in the bud before it spiralled out of control.' Peace talks began between the ANC and the IFP, and 'culminated in a spirit of compromise and detente'. The peace process was also a fragile one, however, and 'the IFP was under no illusion that the ANC's political agenda of undermining the IFP and its capacity to govern the province had disappeared'.

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.