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Date: Sun, 9 Jul 1995 21:01:54 -0200
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From: ancdip@wn.apc.org (tim jenkin)
To: Multiple recipients of list <anclist@wn.apc.org>
Subject: Mayibuye July 1995

IFP Elections Strategy Takes Form

Mayibuye, Journal of the African National Congress
Vol. 6, no. 3 July 1995

Inkatha looks set to use its old strategy of destabilisation to win local government elections in KwaZulu/Natal, writes a correspondent.

The strategy the IFP will use in contesting local government elections in KwaZulu/Natal is beginning to take form, amid insecurities about the stability of its support in the province.

If the IFP loses local government elections in KwaZulu/Natal, it could fundamentally change the balance of forces in the province. The IFP fear being stuck between what they perceive to be a hostile national government and potentially hostile local governments.

"It looks like the IFP wants to control as many rural areas as possible by not allowing free political activity in those areas," says ANC MP Blade Nzimande.

He says the IFP is not sure whether they can rely on the support of rural people in the elections. The IFP has maintained its base in KwaZulu/Natal through a combination of genuine support, intimidation and patronage, in the form of their control of the chiefs.

It is therefore continuing its strategy of last year - and of the preceding decade - of destabilising the province. This is borne out in several developments over the past month. Its insistence on international mediation and its allegations of 'bad faith' against the ANC laid the basis for a call to "rise up and resist" the national government. The call coincided with an increase in the levels of political violence in the province.

At the same time the IFP sought to further control the chiefs in the province through the House of Traditional Leaders, in spite of calls by the Zulu monarch Goodwill Zwelithini for traditional leaders to remain outside of party politics. It has also resisted legislation to enable the salaries of traditional leaders to be paid by national government - wanting to maintain its capacity to financially manipulate traditional leaders in the province.

The most recent component of the IFP strategy, outlined in its 20 point plan, is to seize control of crucial areas of governance and return the province to a bantustan-like situation. The IFP wants, through this plan, to pursue the same strategies of repression and patronage as it did in the former KwaZulu bantustan.

"The IFP thrives best through chaos," says Nzimande, "it demobilises other forces." He adds that the IFP's destabilisation of the province last year enabled it to cheat in the April 1994 election.

Nzimande says a lot of the responsibility for ensuring that conditions for free and fair political activity are established lies with the government at the national level. But, says Nzimande, the government mustn't clamp down on the IFP, but on violence. The IFP is so resistant to measures to end the violence only because it is an organisation which thrives on violence, he says.

Although its focus is on rural areas, the IFP intends to contest the metropolitan areas around Durban and Pietermaritzburg, where the ANC is relatively strong. There are however some contradictions in the IFPs approach to metro areas, particularly in the way local government MEC Peter Miller has approached the demarcation of the boundaries of the Durban Metropolitan Council. On the one hand, the IFP would like to strengthen their electoral position, which would require the inclusion of surrounding rural areas into the Durban metro. On they hand they fear the chiefs in these rural areas exercising control over the city.

Nzimande says the ANC in the province needs to consolidate its organisation in areas where it has a strong presence. "The level of registration is not that bad. Our priority must be to get each and every person to the polls," he says.

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