In her analysis of the violence in KwaZulu Natal that has been steadily escalating over the past few years, Ms Mandy de Waal questions whether we have become inured to the brutality that seems so pervasive (“Analysis: Meanwhile, on the killing fields of KZN”, Daily Maverick, 15 November 2012).
I understand her line of thought, for how can we live in such a violent society without building some psychological defences to protect ourselves from the pain, grief and fear that surround us? We in the IFP are intimately acquainted with the searing emotions that accompany violence. It is impossible to come to terms with.
I must therefore answer Ms de Waal’s final question, to help everyone looking in from the outside to understand why the IFP continues to labour so passionately for peace. She asks, “Do we even remember Dlamini, Shezi or Xulu?” or are they merely yesterday’s “news fodder”?
The answer is yes, we do remember them. We remember them every day, for we walk hand in hand with the mothers and sisters and brothers and children who are left behind to mourn. We remember the dedicated service of Councillor Themba Xulu. We remember the kindness of Celiwe Shezi, who came to support Councillor Xulu’s family as we awaited news following his kidnapping. We remember the youthful enthusiasm of Siyabonga Dlamini, who longed to provide for his mother and sisters.
Today we are again wracked with grief over the murder of Mr Sihle Biyela in KwaMashu last night. In the time to come, we will remember him too, as we do every fallen man, woman and child whose lives have been taken through violence.
They were individuals and their lives, and deaths, matter.
PRINCE MANGOSUTHU BUTHELEZI MP
PRESIDENT: INKATHA FREEDOM PARTY
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