Controversial IFP member Thandabantu Ntombela dies at age 93
Once-feared ‘warlord’ and former IFP member in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature Thandabantu David "Gandaganda" Ntombela died at his home in Elandskop, Pietermaritzburg, on Thursday night. He was 93 years old.
Ntombela was one of the most prominent members of the IFP in the 1980s and 1990s during the violence between his party and the UDF and later the ANC when it was unbanned in the early 1990s.
During testimony at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) hearings, witnesses implicated Ntombela in leading IFP warriors as they went on killing rampages in the KwaZulu-Natal midlands.
He was a long-standing member of the IFP national council.
Apart from his various political roles, Ntombela was also an induna (headman) under Inkosi Nsikayezwe Zondi, of Mpumuza Tribal Authority and also a former IFP district chair of Indlovu District now known as uMgungundlovu.
He retired in active politics in 2007 due to illness but remained a fervent IFP member. A few years ago, when rumours circulated that he intended to leave the IFP to join the then newly formed breakaway National Freedom Party under Zanele KaMagwaza-Msibi, Ntombela issued a stern statement, dismissing these rumours with utter disgust, adding that he would never sever ties with the IFP and its leader, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi.
On Friday afternoon Ntombela’s sons dismissed the assertion that their father was a warlord, saying that he often defended himself when under attack by his political opponents.
The IFP commended Ntombela on being an outstanding leader.