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Buthelezi believes in a multiracial South Africa. In his opinion, whites are Africans also and should behave as such. Race should not provide or exclude anyone from any opportunity. However, ethnicities should be recognized and celebrated. There are certain preferences people have due to their ethnicity. These preferences need to be considered and indulged when possible. Having many viable political parties ensures all voices are heard.
Reconciliation is not only between “black and white” but “black and black,” this is why the meeting with Mandela was so important. Whites have to admit atrocities done to blacks and that the actions were wrong. At the same time, blacks must make recompense for transgressions against other blacks and whites. Buthelezi frequently spoke of blacks killing police officers just because they are police. Buthelezi led by example at a 1991 prayer breakfast in which he apologized to the Afrikaner for the killing of Piet Retief by a Zulu king in the early 1800’s. Reconciliation will lead to a national will.
The best government for South Africa
Buthelezi supports a federal system with a strong constitution. A federal system means all the homelands and provinces function similar to US states. Each homeland or province will have proportional power in the national government. Most of the power will be in the hands of the homeland or province. Buthelezi’s plan is not one man one vote which would hold power in a central government. The federal system ensures the people have the most autonomy and a healthy free market.
Buthelezi does recognize that there will be people that have disproportionately less. He feels there should be a common fund to create social programs. These social programs should not override market forces, but they should provide a social safety net. The social safety net will not be as robust as a developed country, but it should be there. South Africans should expect to work longer hours for less pay until the economy grows.
In 1990, DeKlerk proposed a measure that would allow the African to create a new constitution that would be approved by the white electorate. He admitted it would give whites ultimate veto authority, but felt it was the best deal that they could get at the time. He had faith that DeKlerk had integrity and that the integrity would allow him to work equitability with blacks.
Communism is not a viable option for South Africa. It has been proven not to work in the USSR. The ultimate fall of the USSR should be all the proof a person needs to know that the system will not work. Communism has also failed in several states in Africa. When critics press socialist on why the USSR failed, they cite corruption unique to Russia. However, they do not provide real-world evidence of communist success. Communist also see the world in the simple dichotomy of revolutionary or counter-revolutionary. Their framing of the opposition as counter-revolutionary reduces discussions and alienates them from the rest of society.
Black majority rule will not radically change the life of the average South African. The struggle just begins there. Most people have their expectations too high for how much change will come from participation. In reality, the pie is not that big, and some people will be poor no matter how much the government changes. Ending violence is far more important than elections. Many African nations have “free” elections, yet the violence will have more sway on the election outcome than the candidate’s platforms.
On the AIDS Crisis
At the funeral of his son Nelisuzulu, he admitted that the 53-year-old died from complications of AIDS. During the Prince’s eulogy, Buthelezi said the following.
“I feel the pain of any father and mother across our land at this tragic hour of history. I feel the pain for the many children of Africa who are now dying an untimely and terrible death. I am in mourning. We are a nation which ought to be in mourning.”
Buthelezi lost his daughter Mandisi to the disease later that year. Buthelezi spoke at many HIV/AIDS events and petitioned the government to work toward curing HIV/AIDS. His openness on his family situation helped to remove the stigma around HIV/AIDS in Africa.
In 2013, he gave the keynote address at the Ulundi World AIDS day commemoration. He applauded the government for taking the necessary actions to reduce the prevalence of AIDS in the country. The government accomplished many milestones in prevention, education, and access to treatment. South Africa has the highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS. Now serious steps have been taken to remedy the problem.
He recounted how he felt when his two children died of AIDS in the prime of life. He commended Mandela admitting one of his sons died of AIDS. By great South African leaders admitting to AIDS affecting their lives, many people were able to admit to living with the disease. Buthelezi explained how removing the stigma led to increases support from victim’s family and friends.
The IFP started an initiative to provide an antiretroviral drug to pregnant women infected with HIV. The drug prevented the disease from being passed on to the child. The effort was extremely efficient in KwaZulu-Natal. Buthelezi petitioned the national government to implement the plan nationwide. The current national initiative for antiretroviral drugs has been successful.
To prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, Buthelezi recommends faithfulness, abstinence, and the use of condoms. He entreats all the individuals to stay healthy and take personal responsibility in romantic relationships. All South Africans should commit to making South Africa healthy.
On Jacob Zuma
Jacob Zuma is the current president of South Africa. He was a former MK soldier and leader and built a reputation for bravery. He became the head of the ANC and shortly after that president. Opposition to Zuma’s leadership grew due to various scandals and a failing South African economy. Many want the president impeached.
Buthelezi is acting as a cooler head in the fight to impeach Jacob Zuma. He feels that himself and other opposition should not force Jacob Zuma out. The ANC leaders must vote their conscious and oust their leader, or the people must vote him out. The public could view a demonstration such as the Democratic Alliance marching on the Luthuli House as aggression. If the ANC feels cornered, they could restart the violence that tore apart the townships in the 1980’s and 1990’s.
What Buthelezi has right?
Buthelezi does have a good grasp on how a capitalist economy could work in South Africa. Free market economies have the longest track record of producing stable economies and countries. He realizes South Africa has a long road to go and can not expect all the privileges of a developed country. However, there should be some social safety net to ensure that a person does not fall into abject poverty.
The communism of the USSR has been proven not to work. Not only did it fail in Europe it has failed many times in Africa. To attempt to repeat the implementation of this failed system would be insanity. One of the reasons that the South African economy is one of the strongest in Africa is that it did not implement a flawed socialist system.
Buthelezi took full responsibility for his part in the township violence. He did not blame the government or put all the blame on the ANC. Buthelezi and other South African leaders made choices with open eyes. Instead of looking backward he looked forward. He did his part in building South Africa’s future.
His work in the transition government demonstrated his commitment working with his former rivals the ANC. As a minister, he had to implement plans that went against his belief in a free market federal government, but he understood how important reconciliation was to reduce black on black violence. He gave a much needed alternative perspective, but if the government went the other way he held fast to his duty. His view on the Zuma presidency shows his new commitment to peace. Buthelezi feels Zuma should serve his term out and then an election can decide on a new president. An impeachment could cause more bloodshed.
Finally, his work in AIDS and divulging of his personal story on AIDS was immensely vital. When he disclosed he had two children die of AIDS, he opened the door for many others to do the same. He also used his influence to bring treatment to KwaZulu and South Africa.
What he has wrong
His commitment to nonviolence in the 1970’s, 80’s, 90’s only extended to white people. He dealt with the ANC and Zulu that became disorderly swiftly and violently. The O’Malley archive documents atrocities committed by Inkatha. To go into detail in this analysis would be a distraction. The violence irreparably changed many lives.
Analyzing how Buthelezi negotiated also illustrate how differently he handled conflict between himself and whites versus himself and blacks. In 1990, he was ready to sign an agreement that would let whites have veto power over the constitution of KwaZulu. However, when the ANC proposes expanded control over KwaZulu a few years later, he walks out of the negotiations. It appears he is ready to capitulate with the National Party at the drop of a dime. He fights the ANC tooth and nail. If his true purpose were to protect KwaZulu, he would have fought both encroachments.
He spent too much energy blaming the difficulty of the Inkatha to work with ANC on the botched meeting between Mandela and Buthelezi in the early 1990’s. It would have been more productive to build allies throughout the ANC, instead of lamenting that party members manipulated Mandela. Buthelezi felt that his friendship with Mandela should be enough to put them at the negotiating table together. Personal feelings and love are not sufficient to operate in an Orange meme political process.
Where is Buthelezi on the Spiral
He is a Blue Meme leader attempting to function in an Orange Meme government. Buthelezi’s issues with Mandela best illustrate his meme. In the days of chiefs and kings, Mandela and Buthelezi could negotiate regardless of what the subjects think. Now public opinion rules the day. Now Buthelezi had to modify his behavior for the new system. Ultimately, he was able to operate at a higher level when needed.
The importance of a strong constitution is an issue Buthelezi speaks on frequently. Leaders in the Blue meme want to create policy around a founding document or moral code. Buthelezi voices his fears of a central government run amuck with too much power. His fear of large government is in line with many Republicans in the USA.
Buthelezi worked toward First Order change, which is minor modifications in the system currently in place. The ANC wanted Second Order change, overthrowing the government. It makes since that Buthelezi would team up with fellow Capitalists, the National Party, to fight what he saw as a Soviet invasion. Often the alliance between Inkatha and the National Party is viewed as a black man teaming up with whites to kill other blacks. The racial analysis leads to the vilification of Buthelezi. If the conflict is viewed as Capitalist versus Communist, a person can see far more nuance.
Buthelezi stresses “I” Space solutions and personal responsibility. He sees the current economy as limited, and citizens cannot expect government solutions to all problems. Buthelezi’s solutions would fit perfectly at a Republican National Convention.
- http://www.sahistory.org.za articles on Mangosuthu Buthelezi, Mahlabatini Declaration of Faith
- http://www.politicsweb.co.za “Mandela and I” by M.Buthelezi
- “Zulu leader speaks out on AIDS crisis after son’s death” by Andrew Meldrum in The Guardian
- News 24 Archives at http://www.news24.com “Buthelezi child died from Aids.”
- “Buthelezi makes Aids personal” by Angela Botswana found on http://www.iol.co.za/news World AIDS Day 2013 Commemoration at Ulundi by M. Buthelezi
- http://www.imdb.com Synopsis of 1964 movie Zulu
- http://www.telegraph.co.uk “Zulu is this the greatest British war film” by Will Heaven
- http://www.independent.co.uk/ “The untold story of the film Zulu starring Michael Caine, 50 years on” by Sheldon Hall
- http://www.heraldlive.co.za “Don’t provoke the ANC, warns Buthelezi” by Nathi Olifant
- http://www.news24.com “Zuma has failed the country – Buthelezi” by Kaveel Singh
- http://ewn.co.za “Buthelezi discourages DA marching on Luthuli House” by Z. Ngcobo
- http://www.sabc.co.za “Buthelezi to advise President Zuma to step down”
- http://www.huffingtonpost.co.za “Wondering Who Your New Deputy Finance Minister Is? Introducing Sfiso Buthelezi.”
- http://citizen.co.za “White monopoly capital’ scapegoat for failed leadership – Buthelezi”
- https://www.bloomberg.com “Majority of South Africa’s ANC Want Zuma to Resign, Poll Shows” by A. Mbatha
- From the O’Malley Archive
Article on “KwaZulu”
Article on “From Buthelezi IFP to Third Force theory”
Interview archive of Buthelzi from 1990 to 1999
- 1994: A Bloody Miracle directed by Haitsma and Rickards