IFP students want Shenge to stay

THE South African Democratic Students Movement has put its weight behind incumbent IFP president Mangosuthu Buthelezi to continue leading the divided party.

This comes amid rifts, particularly among the youth, since there are those who want change and transformation and have made it clear that Buthelezi's time as president was up. Buthelezi has been at the helm of the party since its formation in 1975.

The position of the presidency in the IFP is expected to be contested during the party's annual general conference in May.

Sadesmo's pronouncement yesterday came after Buthelezi revealed during the IFP rally in Nkandla, northern KwaZulu-Natal, that the national council had asked him to stay.

He said he would respond in October, four months after the elective conference.

Sadesmo national spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa said a decision was taken during an extended NEC meeting in Durban on Saturday.

"The conference comes at a time when the IFP is faced with worrying challenges, many of which have soiled the party's identity and have undermined the constitution and its due processes," he said.

Hlengwa said that the issue of change and transformation had formed the basis of the "continuing struggles in the party".

"After long and critical discussions, we have arrived at the conclusion that the IFP; for its own good, needs more than ever before the leadership of Buthelezi. To this end, we propose that Shenge should continue leading the IFP," he said.

Hlengwa said they were of the view that in the collective "interests of the party unity, current national chairperson (Zanele Magwaza-Msibi) and current secretary-general (Musa Zondi) should retain their current positions".