IFP stalling talks: a sign of strife?

2009-06-26 00:00

THE Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) is postponing its national conference that was scheduled for next month, allegedly to properly prepare the party for the conference.

Some of its branches have not yet been inaugurated because of late registration by party members.

However, according to sources within the party, who confirmed that the conference is being postponed, the delay was an attempt to give the leaders time to “resolve the leadership crisis” as they try to quell the revolt by the IFP youth brigade who have been calling for their removal.

They claimed this is merely a ploy by senior members to delay the conference because they fear they will not be returned to their positions, as the youth brigade is adamant about changing the leadership of the party. And the conference will give them a chance to force the issue.

“Most of the people fear that because of the youth brigade’s position that new leadership is required, they will not be retained in their position.”

The postponement of the conference marks another problem in a party that has been plagued by internal strife since its devastating defeat during national government elections.

This infuriated the youth brigade, who revolted against the senior leadership and blamed them and demanded that they make way for new leadership.

The revolt has also filtered to the senior leadership. The party’s national chairwoman, Zanele KaMagwaza Msibi, was drawn to the fray. She was alleged to have aligned herself with the youth brigade and supported their call for new leadership. She, however, denied this.

Albert Mncwango, the national organiser, described the postponement as just a rumour. However, he conceded that there was a possibility that the conference could be postponed, depending on when the process of renewing membership of the party is completed.

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