IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi's hold over the party received a jab in the arm at the weekend.
One of his staunch supporters, Abaqulusi municipality mayor George Dlamini, was elected chairperson of the IFP's biggest and most powerful Zululand district.
Dlamini was elected during a highly contested but incident-free election in Vryheid, northern Zululand, yesterday.
Buthelezi's camp made a clean sweep, winning all senior positions. The party reconvened for the second time in two weeks after the first attempt to hold district elections failed as feuding camps clashed.
District secretary Sthembiso Mathaba, who is also Nongoma municipality mayor, said the new leadership was to prepare for local government elections as a united front.
"Our mandate is crystal clear and that is to make sure that our district is united, because if our district is united it will have a positive bearing on the status of the party doing well in local government elections," Mathaba said.
He said the senior leadership of the IFP was dealing with the party's internal challenges, which leaves them with a clear directive of uniting the district.
"Also, our focus point is to make certain that all our municipalities do deliver to the needs of the people. We know that the Zululand district is made up of five local municipalities, which unfortunately have the majority of its inhabitants being the poorest of the poor. But we must make sure that we change the lives of our people in every respect," Mathaba said.
Buthelezi's life-long leadership of the IFP was recently challenged, with some youth leaders calling for party chairperson Zanele Magwaza-Msibi to replace him.
The calls followed the IFP's dismal performance in last year's general elections.
Meanwhile, Sowetan has learnt that the senior leadership of the IFP and its councillors are to meet in Empangeni on July 10 to map a way forward ahead of the watershed annual general conference scheduled to take place at the end of next month.
Already there is talk that the gathering will not be an elective conference . There are apparently fears that electing a new leadership could lead to further divisions, which could hamper the party's performance in next year's local government polls.