Buthelezi to lead IFP for 5 more years

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - ZI­MASA MATI­WANE

IFP LEADER Man­go­suthu Buthelezi, who turns 89 later this month, is set to be at the helm of the party for the next five years af­ter the party’s 35th elec­tive con­fer­ence in De­cem­ber.

This was one of the IFP’s in­ter­nal res­o­lu­tions from its na­tional coun­cil meet­ing in July.

Hav­ing led the IFP since its in­cep­tion in 1975, Buthelezi was deemed fit to con­tinue to lead the IFP as he was an “eth­i­cal, trust­wor­thy and prin­ci­pled leader” and mem­bers had “un­con­di­tional faith in him”.

“His trust­wor­thy lead­er­ship has en­abled the IFP to sur­vive in­ces­sant cam­paigns to de­stroy it, in­ter­nal di­vi­sions and lead­er­ship squab­bles which threaten to desta­bilise al­most all po­lit­i­cal for­ma­tions in South Africa,” the doc­u­ment read.

Po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst Bukani Mn­goma said Buthelezi’s stay­ing power came from his be­ing more than just a leader: the party had been built around him.

“He is an au­thor­ity within the party, and will re­main so un­til he de­cides to hand over the reins. Even the per­son who takes over will be of his choice,” Mn­goma said.

At the IFP’s last elec­tive con­fer­ence in De­cem­ber 2012, the party amended its con­sti­tu­tion to cre­ate a po­si­tion of deputy pres­i­dent as part of its suc­ces­sion plan.

Inkosi Mzamo Buthelezi was elected un­op­posed as the IFP’s sec­ond-in-line to suc­ceed Buthelezi.

But Mn­goma ar­gued that the party had no suc­ces­sion strat­egy.

“They may as well sus­pend this im­ple­men­ta­tion un­til Buthelezi makes a de­ci­sion that he wants to step down,” he said.

Mn­goma added that even if Buthelezi stepped down, the IFP would not col­lapse as it was “a solid party”.

“Within the IFP, Buthelezi is seen as a uni­fier. He has not been dogged by any scan­dals.”

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