The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) is mourning after its former secretary general and national council member, 63-year-old Sibongile Nkomo, died on Saturday. She died after a long illness at a Durban hospital, IFP national spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa said on Sunday.He said that owing to her ill health, Nkomo stepped down as the secretary general in January."We had hoped that she would return to good health and continue her servant leadership to the IFP and South Africa."Hlengwa said Nkomo was elected IFP secretary general at its National General Conference in 2012. "She executed her duties as secretary general with a high level of professionalism, diligence and efficiency of the highest order. She represented the best of IFP leadership in general and woman leadership in particular."Previously, Nkomo represented the IFP in the Gauteng legislature where she also chaired the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa).In 2013 the IFP deployed her to the National Assembly until the May 8 general election. In Parliament, she served in committees that included the finance, home affairs and tourism portfolios.Nkomo, a nurse by profession, was the IFP's premier candidate for Gauteng in 1999.She also served as the IFP Women's Brigade (IFPWB) Gauteng secretary and later the as its publicity secretary before being elected party secretary general."In all her elected positions in the IFP and those of public office, Nkomo always gave of her best. She was a trusted leader in the IFP and a committed servant of the people," Hlengwa added.He said Nkomo was survived by her daughter Zama, her mother and four brothers."The IFP shares this deep loss with the Nkomo family and we mourn with them and offer them our most sincere and heartfelt condolences. May our dearly departed comrade and leader rest in God's perfect peace."