Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) leader Dr Mangosuthu Buthelezi wants his African National Congress (ANC) membership renewed so he can die peacefully, IOL reports.
According to the news report, Buthelezi said if the ANC wanted him to die peacefully, the governing party would renew his ANC membership.
According to the ANC, Buthelezi had been involved in the party’s Youth League branch at Fort Hare University.
It was reported that the IFP leader had been angered by ANC MPs mocking him for wanting his membership to the governing party renewed.
The mockery by the ANC MPs had vexed Buthelezi to the point where he told energy minister Jeff Radebe to put an end to it.
Buthelezi was speaking in Durban on Sunday at an event marking the start of his 90th birthday celebrations.
The IFP leader was quoted as saying he wished that the matter of his ANC membership renewal would be laid to rest before his passing.
Buthelezi said ANC leaders had humiliated and isolated him even though the late former ANC president Oliver Tambo had given him the blessing to form the IFP so it could continue the struggle for liberation.
Buthelezi said one of the first ANC leaders to isolate him had been the party’s former secretary-general Alfred Nzo, despite the fact that the IFP president had put pressure on the National Party to release political prisoners such as former president Nelson Mandela, and bring exiles back into the country.
Buthelezi said he felt humiliated when Mandela avoided meeting with him soon after his release from prison, and that when they eventually met on January 29, 1991, the late former president wanted the two to join forces and tackle political violence in KZN at the time.
The ANC has since noted that Buthelezi wishes for his ANC membership to be renewed, saying this indicates that the governing party remains in the DNA of those who join its ranks.
The governing party, however, added that it is cognizant of “the tumultuous historic relationship between the ANC and Chief Buthelezi.”
“The statement by Chief Buthelezi, that in order to leave this earth peacefully this matter must be attended to, shows that the African National Congress, once joined, remains part of the DNA of our people. The ANC will continue to engage on this matter,” the ANC said in a statement.