The Inkhatha Freedom Party (IFP) will hold its 35th National Conference from the 23rd – 25th August 2019 in Ulundi, KwaZulu-Natal.

For the first time in its 44 year history, the IFP is will likely elect a new leader as it’s believed that party leader Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi will be handing over the mantle to a new president.

A historic moment for the party in that this conference is being held after a lengthy postponement of subsequent conferences, as the last time is was convened was in December 2012. The national general conference was expected to be held last year, but was unexpectedly postponed, but the party denied this was due to a succession battle.

In November 2017, Buthelezi handpicked Velenkosini Hlabisa, the party’s Secretary General and incumbent leader of the IFP in the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Legislature, as his anointed successor and in April indicated that Hlabisa was still his choice to lead the IFP into the future.

The IFP is one of South Africa’s biggest opposition parties and comes into this conference having been one of the big winners at the ballot earlier this year – along with the Economic Freedom Fighters and the Freedom Front Plus.  The party saw a significant rises in support, consequently increasing their seats in South Africa’s sixth parliament from 10 to 14 seats and is now also the official opposition in KwaZulu-Natal after unseating the Democratic Alliance.

The National Conference, referred to as the main elective conference, is the final of three other elective conferences that the party has held over the past few months, beginning with the Youth Brigade Conference followed by the Women’s Brigade Conference.