IFP student wing favours Buthelezi for re-election

2010-02-22 00:00

THE student wing of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), the South African Democratic Students’ Movement (Sadesmo), added its voice in support of retaining party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi as its president at its annual general conference to be held in Ulundi later this year.

At a press conference held in Durban yesterday, Sadesmo national spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa confirmed that the student wing will support Buthelezi’s re-election as the leader of the party.

“After a long and critical discussion, we have arrived at the solid conclusion that the IFP, for its own good, needs now more than ever before the leadership of Dr Mangosuthu Buthelezi,” Hlengwa said.

Last year the issue of change and transformation within the IFP triggered the emergence of two factions to take over the reigns.

One faction lobbyied for general secretary Musa Zondi and the other supported national chairperson Zanele Magwaza-Msibi.

This followed Buthelezi’s indication during the last elective conference in 2005 that he will not stand for re-election.

Rows over who will lead the party after Buthelezi’s retirement saw the socalled “old guard” within the party and its youth section pitted against each other, with the “old guard” supporting Zondi and the youth section siding with Magwaza-Msibi.

Last week Buthelezi indicated that he was going to consult with his family and friends before arriving at a decision on this matter.

“We hope that he will arrive at a decision favourable to our pronouncements …” Hlengwa said.

“The reality is that the IFP is faced with a battle for its soul, and as Sadesmo we are committed to defending the IFP from any form of political thuggery in the form of activities that are foreign to the party.”

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