Hlengwa was quoted by Isolezwe in Durban as saying: “I would like to ask…Can a person free people if he was not there during the struggle? Nelson Mandela was not there during the struggle, he was serving 27 years in jail. Then if he was incarcerated, how can he free people? This man was in jail but people say he freed us…I don’t think so.
“Ulundi must be proud of itself because it produced a man who made Mandela’s release from prison, Dr Mangosuthu Buthelezi,”
Hlengwa was speaking at Ulundi Youth Summit in Multi Purpose Hall on Monday, during education awareness in schools around Lundi municipality.
“De Klerk once said, the man from Ndini said negotiations will not be discussed until Mandela was freed from prison. Even Mandela reiterated that he would not be free if Shenge was not there. Now that Saturday will be a celebration of Mandela’s date of birth, there will be many myths,” he added.
The party`s spokesperson, Joshua Mazibuko, refused to comment on Hlengwa`s remarks saying all questions should be directed to him [Hlengwa].
“He is a grown man, he has an ID, I suggest you ask him about his comment,” said Mazibuko.
Hlengwa was lashed on social media following his remarks on Mandela.
— Sabelo Ndlangisa (@vhoSabelo) July 16, 2015
However, others agree with his comments:
@SakinaKamwendo I agree fully with the IFP MP Mkhuleko Hlengwa, utat' Mandela violated our rights for his freedom not of the country
— Lubanzi (@Leano_Bonngoe) July 17, 2015
Lindokuhle Percy Xulu said: “I respected Mkhuleko Hlengwa until he proved to the world that he know nothing about the liberation struggle. Ungiphoxile (you have disappointed me).
Makgorogo Kakashimoto agrees with Hlengwa`s comment: “Mkhuleko Hlengwa the leader of IFP youth set the cat amongst the pigeon, when he said: “Mandela didn’t free me.” Cos he was in prison, he needed people to free him from prison. Nna ka re its fact (I believe it’s a fact).
Thanda Xulu said: “In this case you feel like challenging our thinking, put away politics and bring facts on table. We talk not to be admired by victims of Mandela myths project of whites.”
This comes while the nation prepares for the celebrations of the late struggle icon`s Mandela Day tomorrow.
Mandela Day was first declared by the United Nations in 2009. The first day occurred the following year, in Johannesburg and New York. Since then, it is now observed in 126 countries, according to Foundation CEO Sello Hatang.