Fri Oct 21 15:09:26 CAT 2016

IFP should know better

By Sowetan Says | Jul 19, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

CALLS by some of the IFP supporters for National Police Commissioner General Bheki Cele to provide security during the party’s coming elective national general conference are disturbing.

The party, which was  formed in 1975, is expected to   elect a new leader next week.

Its current president, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, has been  at  the helm for 35 years.

Vying for the position are  Buthelezi, national  chairperson  Zanele Magwaza-Msibi and  general  secretary Musa Zondi.

 As in any democratic formation, there is jostling and  lobbying for leadership positions.

The IFP is finding itself in  that political position,  ostensibly for the first time in its  history spanning more  than  three decades.

Now it cannot handle it.

We are told that Magwaza-Msibi has been told by   Buthelezi to rein in her supporters, whom he alleges are   ill-disciplined.

 Her supporters see that as  an attempt to thwart her  political ambition to become the  party’s second  president – and  first female president.

They claim Buthelezi  spared Zondi the same  dressing-down though his supporters were also vocal.

They also claim the party  leadership had even asked  her  to leave and form her own.

 Now Magwaza-Msibi is to  appear before the party’s   national council for “misconduct”.

That is democracy, IFP-style.

Behind this whole hullabaloo, Magwaza-Msibi’s  supporters claim Buthelezi has a  vendetta against her.

They claim it all started  when he unceremoniously   removed her position as  mayor in the Zululand district   municipality.

Internal strife has consumed the party to an extent   where its leadership spends  most of its time in  remonstrations, court battles and street  marches.

Previous efforts to inject a  new leadership into the party   saw Ziba Jiyane trouncing  Buthelezi’s preferred  candidate, Lionel Mtshali.

 As expected, Jiyane did not  last, leading to his leaving  the  party citing party bureaucracy standing between him   and his duties.

While we cannot dictate  how the party should conduct   its business, we are concerned  about reports of an  alleged  arms cache having been  smuggled into an IFP  meeting  last weekend.

 The party, which Buthelezi  formed after being instructed   by late ANC leader Oliver  Tambo, should know better   that the time for bloodletting  is long past!



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