IFP’s legislature leader quits to further studies

2011-06-23 00:00

THE leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party in the Kwazulu-Natal Legislature, Dr Bonginkosi Buthelezi, has denied speculation that he is “jumping the sinking ship for greener pastures” following his resignation yesterday from the legislature and as the IFP’s provincial secretary.

Buthelezi, who has been a member of the KZN Legislature for the past seven years — two as leader of the official opposition — announced his resignation yesterday and said he wants to pursue his medical career and to further his studies.

Buthelezi is the second IFP MPL to resign within less than a month following the resignation of Thulasizwe Buthelezi, who was the party’s deputy national spokesperson.

He said, “Although I have resigned from the legislature and as provincial secretary, I will remain a member of the IFP.

“My resignation is twofold — to pursue my medical career, either to work in the public institutions, or to open a private practice and to continue with my medical studies.”

Buthelezi said he sent his resignation to IFP president Mangosuthu Buthelezi’s office yesterday morning before sending it to speaker Neliswa Nkonyeni in the Legislature.

In a statement yesterday, the IFP leader he denied he had received a resignation letter from Buthelezi.

“I can categorically state that I have not yet received such a letter, and I am therefore not aware of his decision to vacate his leadership positions within the IFP.

“I have, however, over the past few weeks, heard several rumours indicating that Dr B.T. Buthelezi has been lured into taking up a top position in the KwaZulu Natal Department of Health, by the ANC-led government in the province. His resignation therefore, if media reports are true, would come as no surprise to me and my party,” the IFP leader said.

Buthelezi denied that he had been “lured” by the Department of Health as his party leader speculated.

He also denied that he is leaving the IFP because of its poor performance during the recent local government elections.

“During my tenure with the party I had a good working relationship and I am definitely not leaving because of any deteriorating relations with the party leadership,” Buthelezi said.

Meanwhile, provincial Democratic Alliance leader Sizwe Mchunu has denied that the transfer of the party’s leader in the legislature, John Steenhuisen, to the National Assembly is a result of his romantic attachment to another DA official Terry Beaumont, who was the wife of a senior party official, Mike Beaumont. Steenhuisen will be swopping with MP Mark Steele who will come to the KZN Legislature to take over Steenhuisen’s position.

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