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Young Buthelezi says he 'quit' IFP

By unknown | Dec 11, 2006 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

The IFP's Youth Brigade chairman Thulasizwe Buthelezi has denied speculation that he was forced to stepped down from his position.

Buthelezi shocked delegates at the youth brigade's 28th yearly conference when he announced his resignation yesterday.

He said he was vacating his position to "protect the image of the party".

"I was not forced to resign, but I decided to step down pending the outcome of the case against me."

Buthelezi is facing fraud charges after he was arrested last year.

Last week Buthelezi rejected a plea bargain arrangement in the Cape Town regional court and opted for a trial.

"This is a legal matter that has been going on since July last year, and this has attracted negative media publicity. I decided to resign as chairman of the youth brigade because of the negative image this case has caused the party."

But Zakhele Ndlovu, a political analyst, believes Buthelezi was pushed.

"The IFP wants to reclaim the province in 2009, so they do not want anything to harm their chances of doing so," said Ndlovu.

Buthelezi was appointed by IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi in 2004 to head the youth brigade and he was influential in replacing 'old guards' by younger leaders.

He is accused of soliciting a bribe from Tagnet International, a company that had applied for a tender at Safmarine, a Cape Town-based shipping company he worked for before his appointment.

Pat Lebenya-Natanza, youth deputy chairman, is expected to take over the reins of the youth brigade.

IFP safety and security spokesman Velaphi Ndlovu said: "The party is shocked by the news of the charges against Thulasizwe Buthelezi. We have always stood for clean governance .

"Corruption erodes our society and should be stamped out."

IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi urged the youth to prepare for the 2009 elections.


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