Subject:LETTER TO THE EDITOR: BY MR ALBERT MNCWANGO MP (IFP)
Your news story about alleged infighting in the IFP ahead of its elective conference (IFP: talk of infighting persists, 11 January), followed by an editorial (Leadership of the IFP, 12 January), is misleading and downright mischievous.
The reasons for the multiple delays of the conference are well-known and have been upheld by a high court ruling that vindicated the IFP's concerns about threats of political instability wrought by supporters of the party's former National Chairperson Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi.
The IFP, now as ever, is committed to holding its elective conference at the earliest possible date, provided such a conference is free of intimidation by elements that seek to destabilise the party and the province which has a long history of politically-motivated violence.
This is yet another attempt by the media to look for a story where there is none. For a time, a lively discussion has taken place among the party structures about various transformational changes geared towards re-establishing the IFP's footprint in those parts of KZN where it has been eroded by the joint efforts of the ANC and the newly formed NFP.
One aspect of these changes has been a proposal to fill the position of National Organiser, held for 14 years by myself, a politician, with a technocrat.
I regret that I did not wait for the party's National Council, which is its highest decision-making body, to pronounce on this proposal, but announced my resignation before it could be discussed, let alone agreed on, by the National Council. My greatest regret is the harm my premature statement has caused my political organisation and its leader.
It is against this background that it is disingenuous for The Witness to claim that the departure of former National Chairpersons Ziba Jiyane and Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi, and the decision of Secretary-General Musa Zondi not to stand for positions during the upcoming elective conference and my resignation are somehow related to one another.
History records that Jiyane and kaMagwaza-Msibi were driving their own mischievous agendas within the IFP, which finally led to the establishment of their own parties. I, on the other hand, will no longer feature in my current position, but will remain a committed MP, loyal member and leader of the organisation.
It is unclear how these events prompted The Witness to question the record of Prince MG Buthelezi's sound and indispensable leadership of the IFP which is beyond reproach.
Disturbingly, this editorial speaks to a bigger plot against the IFP. It is common knowledge that Prince Buthelezi wishes to retire. He certainly has no ambition to continue leading the IFP indefinitely. In fact, he holds no ambitions for any leadership positions at all.
But contrary to the views expressed by The Witness - real leadership is setting aside one’s own needs in favour of the collective’s needs. And at this juncture in the IFP's history it needs the invaluable leadership of Prince Buthelezi more than ever before.
Albert Mncwango MP