Mangosuthu Buthelezi, IFP leader, has announced that he will be returning to Parliament despite having hinted at retirement earlier in the year. Buthelezi will be one of the few MPs who has been in Parliament since the dawn of democracy.
90-year-old Mangosuthu Buthelezi will be leading the IFP into Parliament as an MP, adamant that he has not made a complete U-turn on his recently announced retirement:
"Until the IFP holds its national elective conference, I am still the president of the IFP, and I must fulfil the responsibilities of that position."
The party has managed to displace the Democratic Alliance as the main opposition party in KwaZulu-Natal, increasing their previous 10 seats in Parliament to 14.
However, Buthelezi revealed that he would not be running for re-election as the leader of the party at their next elective conference, which would be taking place as soon as it was 'practically possible'.
Velenkosini Hlabisa, secretary-general for the IFP, was nominated to run for the position of party leader in an extended national council late in 2017, reports The Sowetan.
Buthelezi insists that he himself did not decide on Hlabisa as his successor, but supports the decision:
"Those who like to suggest that ours is a one-man show have been put to shame by this election. I have said many times that the IFP is blessed with a strong leadership team. We have incredible men and women leading in this party."
Buthelezi further commented on claims that the party would fall apart once he left, indicating that the elections had proven otherwise:
"So I think a question has been answered. The IFP will survive. Far more than that, the IFP is back."
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