Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) leader, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, is not going anywhere. This follows the party’s decision to shelve its elective conference indefinitely.

Inkatha’s Extended National Council meeting has found that party branches are not ready.The conference would have elected a successor to the 90-year-old leader.

The IFP last held a National Conference in December 2012. For months now the party has been preparing its 35th conference and a date had been set for the end of this month. Over 5000 delegates from 1500 branches countrywide were expected to partake.

The party had however been confronted with numerous challenges. Early this year, party leaders were dealing with bogus branches. Sources inside the party also claimed there were growing divisions over preferred candidates.

But party leaders deny its factional battles that led to the postponement of the conference.

“On Monday last week several branches and structures advised the NEC that certain constitutional prescripts had been compromised in the preparatory stages for the conference. On analysis and on the basis of the advice the NEC found these concerns by branches to be legitimate further compounding the prospects of a successful conference, ” says IFP Deputy National Chairperson, Albert Mncwango.

Last year, party leader president Inkosi Buthelezi announced he would step down after the conference. Provincial Secretary Velenkosi Hlabisa was named as the preferred successor.

With the developments, Buthelezi will continue to be at the helm. The IFP says its constitution allows for this.

No new date has been set for the conference but the party is confident this will not affect its election preparations.

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