Buthelezi hands over the baton
IFP leader gives Hlabisa blessings
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.