The IFP has taken a hardline against members who are hellbent on pitting party president Velenkosini Hlabisa against party chairperson Thamsanqa Ntuli.
In a media briefing held in Durban on Friday, both Hlabisa and Ntuli presented a united front, saying the murmurings that they were at odds were a fabricated lie to derail the party in its campaign to win back the province.
“The IFP has not had a discussion on the premiership of KwaZulu-Natal,” explained party spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa.
“Unless there was something substantive that can be backed up with facts, we should not denigrate the provincial chairperson and the president, it’s not fair to both of them.”
Insiders told Sunday World that the hostile relations between Ntuli and Hlabisa are over who should be the premier should the IFP dislodge the ANC at next year’s polls.
There is a notion shared inside the party’s rank and file that Hlabisa should be pushed to the National Assembly to allow for Ntuli to become the IFP’s premier candidate, which the party denies.
IFP leader Hlabisa sworn in
Hlabisa was sworn in as IFP caucus leader in the National Assembly on Thursday, occupying the role left vacant following the death of party founder Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi.
Hlabisa also explained that as an effort to push back against ill-discipline, the IFP will now be hunting down all the members who are spreading rumours about the party.
“My going to parliament was a smooth transition and you should be congratulating the IFP,” said Hlabisa.
“The relations between Mphemba [Ntuli] and me are very good, and I have said this several times.”
He pointed out that since the first democratic elections, the IFP has not announced the premier candidate for KwaZulu-Natal.
“In all the elections, we have never had a premier candidate. Instead, we made the announcement after the elections. We might decide to take a similar route.
“In social media, we are going to track people. All IFP members engaging in social media to sow division, we are going to deal with them. Factions and camps have no place in the IFP.”
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