Sadesmo wants Buthelezi to stay

2010-04-09 00:00

ALTHOUGH Inkatha Freedom Party’s national council has yet to lift a moratorium on lobbying for candidates’ leadership positions, the party’s students’ wing, the South African Democratic Students Movement (Sadesmo), has reiterated its call for party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi to be retained as president.

In a statement issued yesterday by its national spokesman, Mkhuleko Hlengwa, Sadesmo expressed appreciation that its call has received support from other IFP structures, including its KwaZulu-Natal parliamentary caucus and the eThekwini District. In the wake of divisive presidential lobbying within the party between the supporters of national chairwoman Zanele Magwaza-Msibi and general secretary Musa Zondi last year, the party leadership decided to ban lobbying for leadership candidates until further notice. The ban is still in place, but it seems other structures of the party are openly defying it without any action being taken against them.

The IFP is expected to hold an elective conference at Mandleni/Matleng Camp in Ulundi between May 28 and 30.

Zondi and Magwaza-Msibi were pitted against each other when Buthelezi indicated he would not stand this time after leading the party since its establishment 35 years ago.

After the national council recommended Buthelezi be retained to maintain unity in the ­party, the two have since announced that they will not put themselves forward for nomination.

Hlengwa said the support received by Sadesmo’s call for Buthelezi to retain the leadership shows that IFP members are willing to put the party first ahead of next year’s local government elections.

“We are confident that our nomination of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi for party presidency was the right move. The 2011 elections are an all-important yardstick for our party, and all of us ought to work tirelessly for a decisive victory,” Hlengwa said.

Although it is believed that Buthelezi will accept the nomination, he requested time to consult his family before deciding.

Recently, IFP events have been plagued by disruptions from supporters of Magwaza-Msibi, who believe that she was being ostracised by the IFP leadership.

Tomorrow Buthelezi is expected to address an IFP rally at Danhauser’s KwaMdakane Stadium.

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