Opposing a chief

20 April 2015 | Story by Newsroom
(Photo by <a href="http://www.gahetna.nl/collectie/afbeeldingen/fotocollectie/zoeken/weergave/detail/q/id/ad2a7438-d0b4-102d-bcf8-003048976d84" target="_blank">Rob Bogaerts/Anefo</a>).
(Photo by Rob Bogaerts/Anefo).

When Mangosuthu Buthelezi, leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party, arrived on campus in 1984, students were outraged – and printed posters of anti-Buthelezi placards, and photos of those who has been killed by IFP supporters.

"Later in the year (1984) a workshop on conflict accommodation and management in South Africa was organised on the campus by the Centre for Intergroup Studies. Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the leader of Inkatha, had been invited to deliver a lecture and thereafter to participate in a panel discussion with Dr Alex Boraine, MP, Mr Wynand Malan, MP and Dr Ntatho Motlana. In the early evening, a group of about 200 students arrived at the venue and filled the back of the lecture theatre. They carried placards, sang and chanted and were addressed by the SRC president, Mr Nic Borain, who read excerpts from an honours thesis containing sworn affidavits by student of the University of Zululand about violence on their campus the year before. Other student leaders also addressed the meeting, relating to incidents of violence of that campus which they alleged had been carried out by Inkatha. Chief Buthelezi, who had not yet left his hotel, was informed by Professor Reid, who was acting as vice-chancellor in my absence overseas, of the situation and decided not to appear." Stuart Saunders

"In those days the Inkatha Freedom Party was part of the enemy. There were a lot of killings. The impis had killed quite a lot of people and we had photos of those who had been slaughtered. Some lecturer invited Gatsha Buthelezi to UCT at the height of all these terrible goings-on. We planned to protest, and in preparation, we printed the pictures of the slaughter. We were all going to that lecture, and if he had come, we would have stood up with those photos in protest at his visit; but he never came." Tasneem Essop

"I remember very clearly in the early 80s, UCT gave an honorary degree to (as he was known then) Gatsha Buthelezi. The IFP was playing an awful role as a reactionary force propping up apartheid. We were horrified that UCT would give an honorary degree to Buthelezi. In one graduation ceremony, there were about three people who we felt should never have been given honorary degrees by UCT. I can't remember who the others were. We had a big demonstration at the top of Jammie steps. While we were holding up anti-Buthelezi placards, his impis charged us and seized all the placards, aggressively ripping them away." Mike Evans

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