The Editor Business Day
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Subject:LETTER TO THE EDITOR: BY MR ALBERT MNCWANGO MP (IFP)
Your paper's interpretation of recent events in the IFP is misguided (No retirement yet for long-serving Buthelezi, 19 January 2012).
Let me begin with the reasons for delaying conference, which are well-known. The High Court vindicated our concerns over threats of political destabilization by supporters of our former National Chairperson, Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi. KwaZulu Natal has a long history of politically-motivated violence. We cannot ignore the threat of destabilization. The moment this threat recedes, we will hold conference.
Political analyst, Daniel Silke, is mistaken when he claims that "internal tension" is running high in the IFP and it "would never regain the power it once had". For some time now our Party structures have held a lively discussion on transformational changes to re-establish the IFP's footprint wherever it has been eroded by the ANC-NFP's undemocratic shenanigans.
One of the proposals that emerged was to put a technocrat into the position of National Organiser, instead of a politician like myself. I regret that my premature resignation from this position caused so much harm. The media deliberately misrepresented it as evidence of a looming leadership vacuum, which is quite absurd.
While I am no longer National Organiser, I remain a committed MP and a loyal member and leader of the IFP. My skills will be used elsewhere in the Party. And I am one of almost a hundred leaders in National Council, the Party's highest decision-making body. My colleagues are mayors and former mayors, former Ministers and MECs, MPs, MPLs and a Chairperson of the National Assembly. All have been groomed by the IFP President over many years to take over the reins of the Party.
Just because one or two individuals are no longer available to lead, or have left the Party for one reason or another, most certainly does not equate to a failure on Prince Buthelezi's part to implement a succession plan, nor does it mean that the IFP is suddenly devoid of leaders.
When Protas Madlala claims that he can't think of any other candidate for the deputy presidency, he can't be thinking very hard. But his deep-seated dislike of the IFP is well documented. So it is not surprising that he concludes that many in the IFP "have lost hope in the future of the Party". That is simply not true.
In fact, our resolve to ensure that the IFP performs better in 2014 has been immeasurably strengthened by the knowledge that South Africa deserves better than it got in 2009, and far better than it got in 2011. With the invaluable leadership of Prince Buthelezi, and the collective leadership and wisdom of National Council, we will work to give this country better and more.
Albert Mncwango MP