IFP to decide on PMB conference

2010-06-19 00:00

THE embattled Inkatha Freedom Party’s (IFP) national council will this weekend decide on the date for its elusive district conference for Pietermaritzburg.

This follows the mysterious postponement of the one that was scheduled for June 5 this year.

Pietermaritzburg is among the four IFP districts that are yet to convene their conferences, which has prompted the party leadership to postpone the elective national conference.

The IFP national conference, which was supposed to take place in July last year, has been postponed for several times due to unreadiness of either its constituencies and or its districts to hold their respective conferences.

Other IFP districts that are yet to hold their conferences are Zululand, eThekwini and uThukela.

IFP Pietermaritzburg district chairperson and deputy national chairperson, Velaphi Ndlovu, said the June 5 conference was postponed “because there was a busy schedule for Pietermaritzburg on the day and key people expected at the conference had other engagements”.

Ndlovu referred The Witness to the IFP provincial leadership.

IFP provincial secretary Dr Bonginkosi Buthelezi confirmed that the date for the Pietermaritzburg conference will be announced after this weekend’s national council meeting.

Last weekend, the Zululand district conference was aborted after IFP delegates came close to exchanging blows over disagreements on the election of the district chairperson. That conference has now been rescheduled for June 26.

Other IFP constituency and district conferences were also marred by violence following reports that the party members are divided into two factions, one backing national chairperson Zanele Magwaza-Msibi and the other supporting general-secretary the Reverend Musa Zondi to take over as leader after the retirement of current leader Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

IFP president Buthelezi also admitted that the leadership squabbles between Magwaza-Msibi and Zondi “have managed to do something that our political enemies failed to do — to divide the party”.

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