INKOSI Thabisile Zulu of eMatheni in Nongoma has urged all women to rally behind IFP chairperson Zanele Magwaza-Msibi during her trials and tribulations.
Speaking at a Women's Month celebration in Vryheid in northern KwaZulu-Natal yesterday Zulu said as women they needed to be there for Magwaza-Msibi.
Zulu's plea to the women come in the midst of persistent rumours that she was due to be expelled as chairperson of the IFP.
Magwaza-Msibi was grilled last week by party's executive leaders for supporting expelled IFP Youth Brigade members who had been calling for new blood in the party.
Magwaza-Msibi had previously been accused of aligning herself with rebellious IFP Youth Brigade members who have since been expelled.
But the IFP leadership denied any knowledge of an attempt to expel Magwaza-Msibi from the party.
Party general secretary Musa Zondi described the allegation as "blue lies".
Magwaza-Msibi s also rejected reports that she had been fired.
"I have only heard about these allegations through the media," she said. "All I know is that I am still the party's chairperson until the elective conference."
She refrained from speaking about the situation in the IFP.
But Zulu said women would no t desert Magwaza-Msibi, whatever she was going through .
"We will stand by her."
The celebration was also attended by IFP Women's Brigade chairperson Thembi Nzuza.
"We have read the disturbing news about her in the past few weeks but we have a commitment as women to support each other," Zulu said.
In her speech Zulu said women in the Zululand district would stand by Magwaza-Msibi until she wins her battles.
She said Magwaza-Msibi's soul has been affected but she remained strong. Zulu emphasised that as women they could not fold their arms while their mayor was being humiliated.
"She committed herself to changing women's lives in the district and it's about time we return the favour.
"We need to pray for her and ensure that her soul regain strength.
"As women we are proud of what she has done for us.
"Her footprints are in every corners of Zululand," Zulu said.