Zulus demonstrate against Buthelezi

THE STREETS of central Durban were flooded yesterday with at least 75,000 supporters of the African National Congress, in a massive show of opposition among Zulus to the call by the KwaZulu homeland leader, Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi, for a boycott of South Africa's first-ever general elections next month.

The march was the beginning of what the ANC has called a 'rolling mass action campaign' to press for free political activity in KwaZulu and the province of Natal which surrounds it.

It took place as the low-level civil war between the ANC and Chief Buthelezi's Inkatha Freedom Party showed signs of intensifying, following the call made a week ago at a rally of 12,000 people by the Zulu King, Goodwill Zwelithini, for the establishment of a sovereign Zulu kingdom. About 90 people have died in political violence in Natal since then.

The ANC deputy secretary-general and candidate for premier of Natal, Jacob Zuma, said that, while Zulus respected the King, he was being used by Chief Buthelezi. 'Here is a King whom we respect, but the King must not be used by political organisations,' he said. Another speaker said 'a proud Zulu is not afraid of voting.'

'Zwelithini is our King, but he has no right to tell us not to vote,' said Joyce Dlamini, a robust 37- year-old housewife. 'There are many of us who want to vote. It is our first chance.'

The rally was mainly peaceful, though the prospect of tens of thousands of ANC supporters marching through Durban apparently dissuaded mainly white cricket-lovers from attending the first of the five- day third and final test match against Australia.

The ANC marchers were in a militant mood, with groups of young men brandishing spears and axes performing the toyi-toyi dance through the main avenues. One man carried a poster which said, 'Jacob, Jacob, Jacob, bring me the head of Zwelithini.'

The black townships around Durban, which have been inflamed by ANC-Inkatha violence in recent days, were mainly quiet. At Umlazi yesterday morning, however, Inkatha snipers near Sophia neighbourhood fired occasional rounds into an ANC stronghold called Nujoma, wounded one man and burnt down four homes. Peace monitors who patrol the area and residents who were waiting for buses to take them to the ANC rally described it as a typical day.

President F W de Klerk, who met the ANC president, Nelson Mandela, on Thursday to discuss KwaZulu, described the situation in Natal as 'volatile and explosive' and said he was planning to meet Chief Buthelezi soon. Mr Mandela has requested a private meeting with King Zwelithini to replace a planned encounter in the KwaZulu capital, Ulundi, on 18 March, aborted after ANC claims of an assassination plot against its leader.

The ANC marchers presented a memorandum to the Transitional Executive Council, the multi-party body overseeing South Africa's transition to democracy, which called on Mr de Klerk's government to replace the KwaZulu homeland police with South African police and send the South African Defence Force there.

It also urged the government to stop the training of pro-Inkatha 'self-protection units' by a former intelligence officer, Philip Powell, and members of the extreme right- wing Afrikaner Resistance Movement (AWB).

The rally yesterday followed a demonstration on Thursday in Ulundi by several thousand civil servants and schoolchildren demanding postponement of the April elections until international mediation between the ANC and Inkatha has run its course. The Ulundi marchers burnt ANC and South African flags and carried a giant banner saying 'KwaZulu is forever'.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
News
The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
i100Mike Stuchbery, a teacher in Great Yarmouth, said he received abuse
Arts and Entertainment
The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of JJ Abrams' new film has been released online
Sport
Rio Ferdinand returns for QPR
sportRio Ferdinand returns from his three-game suspension today
News
people

Watch the spoof Thanksgiving segment filmed for Live!
Sport
Billy Twelvetrees will start for England against Australia tomorrow with Owen Farrell dropping to the bench
rugbyEngland need a victory against Australia today
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of The Guest Cat – expect to see it everywhere
books
Sport
Tyson Fury poses outside the Imperial War Museum in south London ahead of his fight against Dereck Chisora
All British heavyweight clash gets underway on Saturday night
News
i100 Charity collates series of videos that show acts of kindness to animals
Arts and Entertainment
One of the installations in the Reiner Ruthenbeck exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery
artCritics defend Reiner Ruthenbeck's 'Overturned Furniture'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Opilio Recruitment: QA Automation Engineer

£30k - 38k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: An award-winning consume...

Opilio Recruitment: UX & Design Specialist

£40k - 45k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: A fantastic opportunity ...

Opilio Recruitment: Publishing Application Support Analyst

£30k - 35k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We’re currently re...

Opilio Recruitment: Digital Marketing Manager

£35k - 45k per year + benefits: Opilio Recruitment: A fantastic opportunity ...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game