Today in History: Inkatha becomes a political party

Mangosuthu Buthelezi at a debutante party in Soweto. Photo: John Reader/ Getty Images. Retrieved from Black Leadership Analysis.

Initially founded as the Inkatha National Cultural Liberation Movement on 21 March 1975, the multi-racial Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) was established on this day in 1990, at a special conference held to launch the party in Ulundi.

The party set the following aims for itself:

• To establish an open, free, non-racial, equal opportunity, reconciled society with democratic safeguards for all people

• To harness the great resources of the country to fight the real enemies of the people; namely poverty, hunger, unemployment, disease, ignorance, insecurity, homelessness and moral decay

• To re-distribute the wealth of the country for the benefit of all people, and to establish political and economic structures that encourage enterprise and create the wealth all governments of the future will need

• To ensure the maintenance of a stable, peaceful society in which all people can pursue their happiness, and realise their potential without fear or favour.

Dr Mangosuthu Buthelezi was unanimously elected president of the IFP.

The party would go on to play a vital role in the transformation of the country, acting as the ANC’s major opposition among the black majority. During the 1994 general elections, the IFP managed to secure 10,54 per cent (2 058 294) of the votes, and secured 43 seats in Parliament.

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  AUTHOR
Blake Linder
Journalist

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