IFP not controlled by cabal: Buthelezi

By Drum Digital
26 March 2012

The Inkatha Freedom Party is not controlled by a "cabal" and there is no split between the senior leadership and the party's youth wing, the party's leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi said on Monday.

Buthelezi, addressing a press conference at the IFP headquarters in Durban, said allegations made by Chris Ntuli, the former leader of the party's student wing, were untrue.

Ntuli, who headed the SA Democratic Students Movement, was quoted earlier this month in the Sowetan newspaper as saying the party was controlled by a "cabal of less than six people known as the core group".

However, Buthelezi, who confirmed Ntuli had been expelled from the party, said there was "a core group", but that it had been established for devising a strategy to fight the 2009 national election. It was likely this group would be resurrected.

Buthelezi said allegations that he was handpicking people for leadership positions within the party were "absolutely preposterous".

Referring to the recent resignation of the party's national organiser Albert Mncwango in January, Buthelezi said "there was no quarrel with Mncwango".

His resignation as national organiser was to allow him to campaign for an elected position, whereas the national organiser was employed by the party on a full-time basis. Mncwango had been replaced by Mfanje Mbango.

The IFP was once the dominant party in the province and engaged in a bitter rivalry with the ruling ANC. However, its support has dwindled.

Since 2004, when the party lost control of KwaZulu-Natal, it has been hit by a spate of high-profile defections, starting with its former chairman Ziba Jiyane in 2005.

Shortly before the 2011 local government elections the party's chairwoman Zanele Magwaza-Msibi also left the party to lead the new National Freedom Party, which secured some 2.4 percent of the vote nationally.

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