ANC wishes Buthelezi a good retirement

ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe says Buthelezi's successor has the task of keeping a relatively old party intact.

Long serving IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi at the ICC in Durban for results of local elections. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The African National Congress (ANC) has wished Inkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi a good retirement, saying he has played his part in the liberation of the country.

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) made the announcement of its leader’s retirement at a press conference in Durban following an extended national council meeting on Sunday.

ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe says Buthelezi's successor has the task of keeping a relatively old party intact.

“We wish Shenge a good retirement; he has played his role and run his race he can now retire and hope that the young people will keep the IFP intact.”

The IFP’s KwaZulu-Natal provincial secretary Velenkosini Hlabisa looks to be the favourite to take over the party reins.

Eighty-eight-year-old Buthelezi has been leading the IFP since its inception in 1975.

The party’s chief whip in Parliament, Narend Singh says Hlabisa is tipped to take over from Buthelezi.

“He will continue to be the president until the conference. Our constitution does provide for anybody who wants to put names in the hat to come forward at the stage; but Mr Hlabisa has received the overwhelming support of the national council, which is 500 leaders of the party.”