Inkatha Freedom Party Press Briefing

IFP Head Office
Monday, 22 October 2018
Statement by Mr Albert Mncwango
IFP Deputy National Chairperson and Chairperson of the Daily Management Committee

Thank-you for availing yourselves today colleagues for this press briefing.
We have called this press briefing today to clarify, and take you into confidence, on issues pertaining to the IFP National General Conference.

At the outset a background and context is required.
Towards the end of 2017 the NEC led efforts of branch renewal and inauguration as part of the preparations for the National General Conference.
Constituency and District conferences were duly prepared for and scheduled.

The Daily Management Committee (DMC) which manages the internal electoral processes of the Party kept the NEC and National Council abreast with periodic reports in terms of the Party’s state of readiness insofar as the National General Conference was concerned.
DMC reports painted a worrying picture of a state of slow progress.

In January it emerged that bogus branches had been created on a wide scale compromising the integrity of any conference at any level of the Party.

The NEC lead by Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP instituted an urgent intervention of branch auditing to quicken the pace towards getting the Party ready for conferences.

In May 2018 the Extended National Council directed the NEC and DMC to continue the process of auditing. Subsequently the NEC completed this process and the DMC began rolling constituency and district conferences.

These conferences were characterised by ructions and divisive tendencies which were contrary to constitution and culture of the IFP. In many instances the Party has been compelled to do rerun upon rerun of conferences throughout the country due to unending but legitimate disputes.

As we speak now the NEC and the DMC are still processing disputes.

The National Council met in September and received an interim report which indicated that at the time we were ready for Conference. Accordingly a date was set.
Outstanding conferences were scheduled and duly held but hereto problems prevailed.

Soon it became clear that all was not well. Teams of the NEC and National Council were dispatched to hot spots to resolve matters and whilst in the main these interventions were successful serious problems remained and if left unresolved would have the potential to have an undesirable impact on the National General Conference.

The unintended consequence of these problems and delays has been that structures have been unable to duly prepare and ready themselves for the Conference.
As things stand the Delegates Roll is incomplete.

On Monday last week several branches and structures advised the NEC that certain constitutional prescripts had been compromised in the preparatory stages for the conference.
On analysis and on the basis of advice the NEC found these concerns by branches to be legitimate, further compounding the prospects of a successful Conference.

A tough and difficult decision had to made. The NEC was forced by circumstances to postpone the National General Conference to avoid violating our own constitution and also avoid possible litigation.

Yesterday, the NEC presented this dilemma to the Extended National Council and after thorough debate it was agreed that the NEC decision be upheld.

Whilst a Conference is desirable and due, we are duty bound to protect the integrity of our processes and the legitimacy of our Conference outcomes. It would irregular and inconsistent with our Constitution to hold a Conference for the sake of holding a Conference.

We wish to state for the record that this was a unanimous NEC decision which was accordingly ratified by the Extended National Council, with the expressed disquiet of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi who felt that hell or high waters the Conference be held but like a disciplined member and leader of the IFP he subjects himself to the decisions of the collective.

In this regard, the allegation that he single-handedly postponed the Conference is both unfounded and malicious.
The IFP expresses its apology to Prince Buthelezi for this state of ill-preparedness for Conference particularly against the backdrop of his announcement to step down from the leadership of the Party. The backlash and criticism for this decision must be directed to the Party and not Prince Buthelezi who has performed his duties diligently under these circumstances.

The DMC will finalise all outstanding matters and provide weekly reports to the NEC to assist the Party make informed decisions moving forward.

We have noted the rumours and baseless allegations by some faceless people and some media houses to the effect that there is a rift in the Party and thus this is why the Conference was postpone are unfounded and without merit.

The IFP remains committed to holding a Conference.

Thank-you!

Enquiries:

Albert Mncwango
IFP Deputy National Chairperson and Chairperson of the Daily Management Committee
083 448 4896

Or

Mkhuleko Hlengwa MP
IFP National Spokesperson
071 111 0539