IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi has confirmed that he will return to parliament as an MP in the newly-elected National Assembly.
The nonagenarian will be among a handful of MPs who have been in parliament since the dawn of democracy in 1994.
Buthelezi, 90, said this was not an about-turn on his decision to retire, describing reports to this effect as “nonsense”.
“I have, very publicly and very clearly, indicated what will happen, when it will happen and how it will happen. So there is no surprise whatsoever that I am returning to Cape Town next week, to be sworn in as a member of parliament,” he said on Monday.
“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,” he said.
Buthelezi said he would not stand for re-election at the party’s next elective conference, which he said would be held “as soon as practically possible”.
Buthelezi was addressing journalists on Monday about last week’s election outcomes. The IFP increased its seats in the National Assembly from the 10 it won in 2014 to 14 seats this time around. The party will also be the official opposition in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature, displacing the DA from that position.