Mtshali ‘manhandled’ by IFP Youth

2009-08-27 00:00

THE infighting within the Inkatha Freedom Party over whether party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi should continue to lead the IFP is intensifying as the party youth refuse to back down over their call for him to step down.

The Witness understands that a senior member of the party, who was in the delegation present during an inauguration ceremony being held at an IFP branch in Umlazi’s T-Section on Saturday, was manhandled following an altercation with the party’s youth wing.

The suspended provincial chairperson of the IFP Youth Brigade, Skhumbuzo Khanyeza, told The Witness that senior IFP member Lionel Mtshali had to leave the inauguration after he allegedly said that the suspended youth members had been sent by the ANC to disrupt the party.

Khanyeza said some youth members were offended by the statemen, and IFP members began to trade insults.

“Mtshali made such a statement because he does not want change within the party,” said Khanyeza.

He said that the youth brigade wants a vibrant new leadership with new ideas and the senior members of the party are against this.

Mtshali declined to comment yesterday, on the grounds that a case of crimen injuria is being investigated.

This week two youth brigade groups publicly stated whom they want to succeed Buthelezi in the party’s elective conference expected to take place next month.

One group is lobbying for the secretary-general of the party, Reverend Musa Zondi, while the other supports Zululand District Municipality Mayor and tIFP national chairperson Zanele KaMagwaza-Msibi.

However, both leaders have made it known that they support Buthelezi’s re-election to lead the party.

Meanwhile the South African Democratic Students’ Movement (Sadesmo) has wished the party’s president the best on his birthday today. Buthelezi turns 81.

“We wish him many, many more happy years and express the hope that he will long continue to serve the people of South Africa,” said Ntuthuko Majozi Sadesmo deputy president.

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