IFP founder and president emeritus Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi has paid tribute to independent Zambia’s first president Kenneth Kaunda, saying he played a central role in the founding of the IFP as one of SA’s foremost liberation movements.
In a statement Buthelezi said during his visit to Lusaka in 1974 to thank Kaunda for providing sanctuary to South African exiles during apartheid, the former statesman advised him to found a membership-based organisation to reignite political mobilisation in SA.
“When I returned to South Africa I sought the advice of Oliver Tambo [former ANC president], who readily agreed. Thus I founded Inkatha yeNkululeko yeSizwe in 1975 with the purpose of furthering our liberation struggle.
“It is important that we honour president Kaunda for this central role in the history and success of our struggle,” Buthelezi said.
He said during his return to Zambia in 2019 when he was invited to address the Nc’wala Traditional Ceremony, Kaunda also made a public statement reaffirming his role in the founding of the IFP.
The former IFP leader said Kaunda served not only his country in fighting for liberation from Britain, but also fought the cause of freedom and democracy in South Africa and across the continent.
Buthelezi added that Kaunda’s death was a tragic loss for the entire African continent, as Africa had seen few giants like him.
He also extended his deepest condolences to the Kaunda family, Zambian President Edgar Lungu and to the people of Zambia.
“As we mourn the passing of this African giant, I can only echo president Kaunda’s own words. He showed unwavering courage and commitment to the cause of freedom. We will honour him always.
“May his excellency Dr Kenneth David Kaunda rest in peace.”