Lies being spread about IFP - Mangosuthu Buthelezi

Party president says "core group" did exist but as a pre-2009-election think tank



Dear ladies and gentleman of the media:

As the leadership of the Inkatha Freedom Party we felt it necessary to call this special press briefing today to set the record straight with regard to attempts by a handful of disgruntled former members of the IFP to blacken the name of the Party leadership, through the media, at all cost.

As the IFP, we recognize the media as important stakeholders in the political process. As political actors yourselves, we know that it is important to take you into our confidence.

During the last few weeks, a number of stories have unfolded in the media. Some have suggested irreconcilable splits in my Party between the youth and the leadership. Others have gone further to imply that there is no democracy within our ranks, and that I no longer wield any power because the IFP is now controlled by a clique called the "Core Group". And also referred by Mr Chris Ntuli as the 'Cabal'.

These stories have no grain of truth in them. The allegations are an obvious fabrication and the creation of people who do not wish the Inkatha Freedom Party well. These developments, blown out of all proportion in the media and sometimes by the media, need to be corrected.

Let me start by addressing the issue of internal democracy. The Party leadership was horrified to learn of the allegations made on the social networks, and in the media, by some of our former youth members to the effect that a process is underway to undermine the democratic principles and character of the IFP.

It was alleged that the IFP is spearheading a process that allows me to handpick people for leadership positions, instead of leaving it to the next elective conference. That is absolutely preposterous. It must be taken into account, that according to the IFP Constitution, I am myself accountable to Party structures that elected me to my current position.

These false allegations are a deliberate attempt by some rogue elements to misrepresent "The Roadmap", a draft internal discussion document aimed at creating a smooth leadership transition. The Roadmap, which takes into consideration the recent developments in the IFP, is merely a document for discussion for Party structures. It is not my product. Rather, it is a response to the concerns articulated by the IFP structures themselves.

Let me now address the issue of alleged rifts between the youth of the IFP and the Party leadership. Such rifts simply do not exist. Mr Mkhuleko Hlengwa, the IFP Youth Brigade Chairperson, is here and can attest to this fact.

The leadership of the Party is, however, on a collusion course with the few disaffected young people who are spreading such lies about the Party. Their behaviour is in contravention of the culture, spirit and values of the IFP. It cannot be condoned or tolerated. They have created a culture of disrespect through their display of disunity and racism.

Let me now speak to the issue of the "Core Group". Yes, it did exist. But not with the aim and purpose that you have been led to believe. This was set up before the general election of 2009.

Prior to the 2009 elections, the IFP launched a pre-election think-thank called the Core Group. The members of this group are Mr VB Ndlovu, Mr AM Mpontshane, Mr J Sibiya, Mr M Sibiya, Mr L Govender, Mr AM Mncwango, Mrs I Mars, Ms N Hoosen, Ms N Lucas, Mr TOS Duma, Mr HL Combrinck, Mr J Klopper, Mr MJ Bhengu, Mr R Liptak, Mr TD Buthelezi, Mr O Kunene, Mr M Hlengwa, Mr N Majozi, Ms B Tshabalala, Mrs TT Nzuza, Ms N Nkomo, Mrs CN Zikalala, Mr BW Dlamini, Dr BT Buthelezi, Ms HN Makhuba, Mrs HS Msweli, Mrs BE Maci, Mrs P Lebenya-Ntanzi and Mr Chris Ntuli himself.

Their mandate was to see to all aspects of the running of the 2009 elections. It was not a group or a clique that centralizes decisions and pulls me by the nose, as some in the media have suggested. Last year, there appeared in the media the minutes of what was called the 'Core Group'. We knew nothing about it and denied any knowledge at the time and added that if it did exist, we as the IFP leadership know nothing about it.

It is abundantly clear that the group of former IFP youth members' efforts on the social networks is further evidence that the activities aimed at destabilizing the IFP, by its disaffected former members, are alive and well. They have become
the instruments of the forces hell-bent on destroying the IFP and handing it over to its enemies on a silver platter.

I am therefore calling on you, the members of the media, to exercise your own sound judgment before penning further article based on lies and propaganda alone.

We cannot allow rogue elements to wreak more havoc in the IFP. As someone who has spent almost four decades building this Party, my appeal to all the loyal members and supporters of the IFP is to close ranks. Let us unite. Let us stand together. Do not allow yourselves to be misled by those who pretend to advance the interests of our organization, but seek its destruction.

I thank you for your time.

Issued by the IFP, March 26 2012

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