IFP founder Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi has expressed his dismay and anger at a Facebook user who he accused of editing an old television interview that made it seem like he supported the vigilante criminals’ acts carried out in Phoenix, north of Durban.
The video posted “Comrade M’sirny Mngadi” showed Buthelezi saying: “I am very proud of the community of Phoenix who has taken the matters to their own hands because really we must not bluff ourselves, we are beginning to see the end of our country and the end of all what we worked for … sick”.
In a statement, Buthelezi said the malicious and manipulated post has sparked a torrent of abuse towards him.
“I and the IFP are aggrieved by a malicious Facebook post by an individual calling themselves ’Comrade M’sirny Mngadi’, who posted an edited video of a news interview dating from before violence erupted in Phoenix.
’’Below this edited video, he posts images of bodies in the streets of Phoenix, clearly intending to show a nexus between the interview and the violence. Yet the two are entirely unrelated.
“The post conveys fake news that I applauded or supported the people of Phoenix for the killing of innocent people. I have been called all manner of expletives, with commentators hoping that I will (and I quote) ’die a slow and painful death.’
“I want to place it on record that the interview portrayed in the post is not related in any way to the violence in Phoenix. At the time when the interview took place, acts of looting had only just started.
’’Where I reside, in Ulundi, the IFP’s leadership, the mayor, and the community were standing together in co-operation with law enforcement to restore calm. Our people were out on the streets, peacefully and in full compliance with the law, protecting Ulundi,” said Buthelezi.
He said over the past few days, the IFP’s leadership has been working day and night in the community of Phoenix to stop the despicable vigilante violence that is targeting black people.
“We are devastated by the murders and vicious attacks, and condemn what is happening in the strongest possible terms. With the situation still highly volatile and the murders continue, it is disgusting that anyone would use social media to disseminate false information that will only escalate tensions,” said Buthelezi.