The Inkatha Freedom Party remains committed to holding its twice-aborted national general conference‚ the party said on Monday.
The conference‚ scheduled for the past weekend‚ was put on hold due to structures being unable to prepare and ready themselves for the event.
The party’s daily management committee (DMC)‚ which manages its internal electoral processes‚ began rolling constituency and district conferences in May in preparation for the national conference but has been stalled by disturbances.
“These conferences were characterised by ructions and divisive tendencies which were contrary to the 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 national executive committee (NEC) and the DMC are still processing disputes‚” spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa said in a statement.
Despite teams of the NEC and national council being dispatched to hot spots to resolve these disputes‚ Hlengwa said serious problems remained and if they were left unresolved‚ would potentially have an undesirable impact on the national general conference.
“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 be irregular and inconsistent with our constitution to hold a conference for the sake of holding a conference‚” Hlengwa explained.
“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‚” he added.
Hlengwa said the DMC would finalise all outstanding matters and provide weekly reports to the NEC to assist the party to make informed decisions moving forward.
The IFP announced in October 2017 that its leader‚ Mangosuthu Buthelezi‚ who has led the party since its formation in 1975‚ would step down from leadership at its next elective conference.