IFP’s Buthelezi ‘confused’

2010-05-04 16:04

With less than four weeks before the IFP elective conference, party

leader Dr Mangosuthu Buthelezi has not decided whether to stand for


“I am confused. I don’t know what to do because the current

situation in my party is bound to destroy the party,” Buthelezi said in

reference to tensions caused by infighting over positions.

The party holds its leadership election on May 28 in Ulundi.

Buthelezi, who has been the president of the Inkatha Freedom Party

(IFP) since its inception in the 1970s, said IFP’s national council had asked

him to consider making himself available to continue leading the party.

“When the party requested me to consider making myself available, I

said I needed to consult my friends, family and the Buthelezi clan before taking

a decision,” he said.

Buthelezi is a leader of the Buthelezi clan.

He said he was not prepared to compete with anyone for the


Buthelezi said the race for positions in the IFP had the potential

to destroy his legacy.

This race, which began early last year, appears to be between the

party’s national chairwoman Zanele Magwaza-Msibi and its general secretary Rev

Musa Zondi.

In the past few months, there have been clashes between their


Magwaza-Msibi recently announced that she would not be available

for the position of president after the IFP raised concerns about the people

campaigning for her.

Some IFP leaders who openly campaigned for her have been expelled

and suspended.

IFP veteran Wiseman Mcoyi was temporarily suspended on Friday after

he organised a gathering in Pietermaritzburg to support Magwaza-Msibi and called

major overhaul of IFP top leadership.

IFP Youth League leaders Skhumbuzo Khanyeza and Irvin Barnes were

recently expelled.

However, Khanyeza was reinstated after apologising to


Supporters of Magwaza-Msibi believe she is being deliberately

elbowed out of the race by leaders who do not want change.

Magwaza-Msibi was recently removed as a mayor of the Zululand

District Municipality. She was made a member of the KwaZulu-Natal


Her supporters argue that this was a deliberate attempt to

humiliate her and make it difficult for her lobby for the position of


However, the IFP has rubbished the claim. It maintains that it

always wanted Magwaza-Msibi to be a member of the legislature.

The party chose her as a candidate for premier during the 2009

general elections.

Her supporters hope to cajole her into accepting the nomination for

IFP president.

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