Buthelezi hands over the ba­ton

IFP leader gives Hlabisa bless­ings

Sowetan - - News - By Bon­gani Mthethwa TimesLIVE –

Age­ing IFP leader Man­go­suthu Buthelezi has fi­nally thrown in the towel after be­ing at the helm of his party for more than four decades.

Buthelezi dropped a bomb­shell at a me­dia brief­ing in Dur­ban yes­ter­day when he an­nounced he would not stand for re-elec­tion as IFP pres­i­dent during the party’s up­com­ing na­tional gen­eral elec­tive con­fer­ence.

The IFP leader‚ who has been at the helm of the party since found­ing it in 1975‚ said the party’s ex­tended na­tional coun­cil had agreed to nom­i­nate Ve­lenkosini Hlabisa‚ the mayor of Hlabisa in north­ern KwaZulu-Natal‚ to stand for lead­er­ship.

Buthelezi has de­scribed Hlabisa as a leader of in­tegrity who has served the IFP with dis­tinc­tion and who has the sup­port from the party’s struc­tures. He said the pro­posal that Hlabisa stand for lead­er­ship has em­anated from across the party.

“We there­fore sup­port him. The ex­tended na­tional coun­cil opened the floor to all our lead­ers to in­di­cate whether they wish to stand for nom­i­na­tion.

“We did not re­ceive any in­di­ca­tion from among our lead­ers. Thus Mr Hlabisa presently stands as our only nom­i­nee‚” said Buthelezi.

The 89-year-old vet­eran politi­cian re­signed as IFP leader in 2004, but was urged twice by the party’s na­tional coun­cil to stay on as leader of the party.

How­ever‚ it re­mains to be seen whether the IFP can sur­vive with­out Buthelezi.

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