Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) deputy President, Inkosi Mzamo Buthelezi says he fully supports the party’s decision to appoint Velenkosi Hlabisa as the successor to Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi has led the party since its inception in 1975.

Mzamo Buthelezi says Hlabisa’s appointment was reached via mutual consensus within the party’s national executive committee. Hlabisa is the Mayor of Hlabisa in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

The IFP is unveiling its 2019 election manifesto in Chatsworth, south of Durban, where scores of party supporters have filled up the stadium, dressed in party colours.

The IFP says it is ready to hold its elective conference, but only once the national election is over.

IFP spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa has been speaking on the sidelines of the party’s election manifesto launch. Hlengwa says branches are ready to go to conference this year.

“I can assure South Africans that the extended national council met on January 19th, 2019 and we presented the comprehensive report. Constituencies and districts are ready. So the party is conference ready as we speak now. We decided we will go to elections, and then in July have a conference. We have requested Prince Buthelezi to continue leading this transition,” says Hlengwa.

Hlabisa meanwhile says the IFP is ready to take back KwaZulu-Natal. He says the party wants to bring strong service delivery back to the province.

“We once ruled KZN and during the time the IFP was in charge in KZN, we made tangible service delivery. The education system, schools in KZN, health system in KZN, the services that were rendered in KZN were at a good level. It is only now that you see the civil servants protesting complaining of poor service delivery.”

WATCH: LIVE IFP Manifesto launch