IFP leader admits to split

2010-05-17 00:00

INKATHA Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthe­lezi has admitted that the emergence of “Friends of VZ Magwaza-Msibi”, a group within the IFP that purports to support the party’s national chairperson, Zanele Magwaza-Msibi, has split the organisation.

Speaking at an IFP Youth Brigade conference in eSikhawini New Hall at the weekend, Buthelezi admitted that the group “achieved something that many of our political opponents failed to achieve in the 35 years of IFP’s existence — splitting the party”.

“They are not doing this so that they can make way for a stronger IFP. They are doing it so that they can weaken the IFP enough to be able to snatch away its leadership. It is all about selfish ambition, status and money. Rivers of money are flowing towards the cause of destroying the IFP and this flow of money has corrupted some of our members, councillors and leaders.

“As people jumped into the malevolent bandwagon of the ‘Friends of VZ’, they rooted around for any semblance of discontent on which they could manufacture a ruction. All kinds of vitriol have been poured on me and the leadership of the party by these latter-day paragons of perfection,” he said.

The “Friends of VZ” was established mostly by IFP youth leaders who believe Magwaza-Msibi was being ostracised by the IFP leadership because of her popularity, especially among the youth, for her loyalty and hard work.

Many IFP leaders aligned to the group have either been suspended or expelled from the party for calling for change and transformation in the party.

Buthelezi also acknowledged that the IFP needs change “as after each election the IFP’s support decreases”.

“I have called our party together to take an honest look at where we are, what we are doing right and what we are doing wrong. Where things needed to change, we have changed them. Where policies needed adjustment, we have adjusted them. Where leaders needed chastising, we have disciplined them …”

Buthelezi said the challenge facing his party is to find a way to ­marry stability and change.

He defended the IFP’s national council decision to postpone the elective conference that was supposed to take place at the end of the month.

“In terms of our party’s constitution, a general conference cannot be held until all the relevant steps have been taken, including the holding of these conferences.

“To date Zululand, the city of Johannesburg, eThekwini and uMgungundlovu, among others, are still to hold their conferences. The national council has no authority to circumvent the constitution and we were forced to make the decision to postpone our annual general conference until 23 to 25 July to give districts the opportunity to fulfil their responsibilities.”

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