New delay for IFP elective conference

2011-10-05 16:35

Johannesburg - The Inkatha Freedom Party's much-awaited elective conference has been postponed again, the party said on Wednesday.

The event was supposed to take place in July 2009, but had been postponed several times since then.

It would have taken place next Friday to Sunday.

IFP secretary Musa Zondi said on Wednesday the conference had been delayed to allow the party’s KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng structures to hold their provincial elective conferences.

Zondi said it was important for KwaZulu-Natal to have its conference first because it was an elective conference.

This would allow the province to comply with the party’s constitution, he said.

"While we are disappointed by the delay, our duty is to ensure that the constitutionality of the IFP annual general conference is upheld," he said.

The new date would be announced as soon as "all the constitutional and logistical requirements have been met".

The reason for previous postponements were the fact that many IFP branches were not in good standing.

Campaigns for positions ahead of the conference turned ugly last year with clashes between supporters of the party's former national chairperson Zanele Magwaza-Msibi and Zondi.

Before forming the National Freedom Party, Magwaza-Msibi unsuccessfully tried to force her party to hold the elective conference. Her attempt was rejected by the Pietermaritzburg High Court.

Magwaza-Msibi and her allies had argued that the IFP elective conference was delayed so IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi's stay in power could be prolonged.

They further claimed it was an attempt to preventing Magwaza-Msibi from contesting the party’s top post, as she was summoned to appear before a disciplinary committee.

She was one of the people who vied for the IFP presidency, and left the party shortly before the May 18 local government elections with many other IFP members.