Former KZN premier 'adds fuel to IFP fire'

THE public endorsement of Musa Zondi by former IFP chairperson and premier, Lionel Mtshali, to succeed Mangosuthu Buthelezi is going to create further divisions within the embattled party.

This is the view of University of KwaZulu-Natal political analyst Zakhele Ndlovu, who thinks the announcement by Mtshali is likely to cause more harm than good.

Mtshali publicly endorsed the party's general secretary during the IFP rally in Ulundi on Sunday. He said there was no other leader except Zondi who can lead the IFP. "We don't know of any other leader who can fill the boots of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi when he retires other than Gagashe (Zondi's clan name).

He has got what it takes to lead the party," said Mtshali.

But Ndlovu warned that this might create another "Cope". He said it was clear the old guard, including Buthelezi, were in favour of Zondi. "I am not so sure if a party like IFP can afford such going forward.

"Clearly, the battle is now between Zondi and (Zanele) Magwaza-Msibi (the party's chairperson), but I doubt if any of them would stay in the party if their side were defeated.

"By the look of things, if Zondi's side were to lose, they are likely to do anything in their power to ridicule the outcome of the election, and if Magwaza-Msibi's side were to lose, chances are that they will feel alienated and leave the party, which would harm it even further," said Ndlovu.

"Senior leaders should not be endorsing individuals, rather they should allow branches to elect their leaders or the party would die. Mtshali's pronouncement was bad," he said.

Magwaza-Msibi and Zondi inaugurated branches simultaneously in the Ulundi region on Sunday.

Magwaza-Msibi inaugurated 16 branches in Nhlungwane and nine in Nhlophekulu, while Zondi launched seven and held a rally in Makhosini.