THE succession battle within the IFP is on again.
This was evident yesterday when a group of IFP Youth Brigade (IFPYB) members from various districts such as Ugu, eThekwini Metro, Hlabisa, Nongoma and Ulundi converged on the party head office in Durban to defend president Mangosuthu Buthelezi and his legacy.
They also demanded that party general secretary Musa Zondi take over when Buthelezi retires. The youth chanted pro-Zondi slogans and carried placards that read "Hands off Buthelezi".
Speaking on behalf of the group Mkhuleko Hlengwa said they had followed the proper procedure by raising their concerns within the internal structures of the IFPYB.
Hlengwa said they were against the vilification of Buthelezi by a "certain group" who are used by leaders who want to topple him.
"We owe it to our president to defend him," Hlengwa said. "The ANC has vilified him and we can't allow a situation where he is vilified within the IFP.
"We are prepared to defend him with our lives if need be. We cannot afford to destroy his legacy. He is a beacon of hope and a symbol of courage."
He said the succession battle lines had been drawn and added that they "unequivocally condemn the senseless demonstrations" witnessed last week.
"The succession battle is clear but we cannot allow Zanele Magwaza-Msibi's (the national chairperson) disgruntled gang undermine the leadership of our president," Hlengwa said.
"When he is no longer available to lead we will support someone who will safeguard his legacy and has a clear vision for the future. That person is our general secretary Musa Zondi. He has what it takes to lead."