Chairwoman for president, says IFP youth

2009-11-11 00:00

THE national chairwoman of inkatha Freedom Party, Zanele KaMagwaza-Msibi, is the preferred candidate of the KwaZulu-Natal IFP youth to replace Dr Mangosuthu Buthelezi as party president in April next year.

“We believe that she is the only leader who will be able to unite the party and help us to arrest the ongoing dwindling of our party’s support,” the acting chairman of the IFP Youth Brigade in KwaZulu-Natal, Muzi Simelane, said in Durban yesterday.

The announcement came a few weeks after KaMagwaza-Msibi publicly announced she will not be available for nomination for the presidency, a spot occupied by Buthelezi for more than 30 years.

The youth wing claimed Magwaza-Msibi was pushed by the party’s national executive to announce she would not be available because it saw she had massive support.

“We strongly believe she was pushed. How can one decline nomination without having been nominated?

“It shows that there is a hidden agenda,” Simelane said.

He said it is widely known that the IFP national executive does not want KaMagwaza-Msibi to replace Buthelezi and that it supported the party’s general secretary, Reverend Musa Zondi.

Former KwaZulu-Natal premier and senior IFP leader Lionel Mtshali has said he would prefer Zondi to take over from Buthelezi.

Last year, the youth brigade called for transformation in the party, which resulted in the suspensions of IFP provincial chairman Irvin Barnes, Sikhumbuzo Khanyeza and Simphiwe Buthelezi.

They had blamed the party’s leadership for the IFP’s poor showing in the April general elections.

“We will continue fearlessly with the transformation struggle no matter what, because the youth are sick and tired of being in a sinking ship caused by people who think they own the party,” Simelane said.

They have chosen KaMagwaza-Msibi so that she can take the transformation of the party to the next level, he added.

“We will not embark on a serious campaign for our candidate. We know that they will intimidate us as they have done before,” said Simelane.

Of the party’s 11 districts, Magwaza-Msibi reportedly has support in seven.

Acting national IFP youth brigade chairwoman Pat Lebenya-Ntanzi said in a statement yesterday that the youth wing rejects the view of “self-appointed youth brigade leader” Simelane that the youth brigade in the province has nominated KaMagwaza-Msibi as a presidential candidate.

“Simelane has absolutely no leadership status within the party, having not been elected to any position he claims to hold. I want to state categorically, on behalf of the [youth brigade], that Simelane is not a spokesperson for the youth brigade and that we, the rank and file of the IFPYB, distance ourselves from these statements,” she said.

Lebenya-Ntanzi said that those who are making nominations for the party president position are jumping the gun.

She added, “We are again calling on the small fraction of youth to desist from attempting to bypass democratic process within the party.”

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