IFP Elephant, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, gracefully Steps Down

Interview with IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi in his office in Cape Town. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER 20/08/2013. © SUNDAY TIMES

The Inkatha Freedom Party was founded by Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi in 1975 and is one of the oldest political parties in South Africa. The IFP leader says he plans to spend more time with his wife, Princess Irene.


The announcement was made during a press briefing on Sunday in Durban.  Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi will be stepping down at the party’s next national general elective conference. The mayor of Hlabisa in northern KwaZulu Natal, Velenkosini Hlabisa has been nominated to take over the reins.

“Naturally there is some sadness in seeing this particular chapter of my life draws to a close. But we have been working towards this moment for several years now, so the transition feels peaceful and right.”, said the leader when he was interviewed. He further expressed his confidence in the leadership of the IFP.

After the party’s setback when scores of its members left and joined the newly formed National Freedom Party, led by Zanele kMagwaza-Msibi, Buthelezi attributes his party’s comeback in the 2014 elections to the party as a whole and not himself.


The split in the party saw the remaining IFP members regroup and come back more united. Buthelezi is confident the party will continue to grow stronger even in the absence of his leadership. He will continue to support the party even after retirement.

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