IFP splits again ahead of elections

2011-08-19 00:00

THERE are fears that the factionalism that plagued the IFP two years ago is revisiting the party once again as it prepares to hold its elusive national elective conference, scheduled to take place in Ulundi from October 14 to 16, 2011.

Information from different senior IFP leaders, who asked not to be named, confirm that its leadership is once again divided on whether IFP president Mangosuthu Buthelezi should continue to lead the party.

One faction wants him to continue while another backs former uThukela District Municipality Mayor Stanley Dladla to take over.

In 2009 internal squabbles in the IFP centred around whether general-secretary Musa Zondi or former national chairperson Zanele Magwaza-Msibi should replace Buthelezi, who had indicated at the last elective conference of the IFP in 2005 that he was not going to stand for re-election.

Those internal squabbles led to the postponement of the elective conference for a number of times and culminated in the formation of the National Freedom Party by Magwaza-Msibi earlier this year.

The source said, “The group that wants Dladla has already approached him, but it’s not clear whether he agreed to their proposal.

“On the other side, the group that wants Prince Buthelezi to continue believes that it was only because of his proven leadership that the party survived the NFP onslaught earlier this year.”

In a clear indication that all is not well within the IFP, former MPL and deputy national spokesperson Thulasizwe Buthelezi was this week hauled before a disciplinary committee for allegedly causing divisions and disunity within the party during its Youth Brigade conference in March this year.

He is said to have been unofficially nominated to stand for the general-secretary position at the conference. If he is found guilty by the disciplinary committee, he will be barred from contesting any position at the conference.

Buthelezi said that “treachery we saw in the past is rearing its head again”, meaning that the division over who should lead the party is again threatening to divide the party.

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