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IFP’s Buthelezi announces won’t seek re-election

The announcement comes less than six months before South Africans head to the polls for what's being described as a 'historic' election.

FILE: Mangosuthu Buthelezi debates the President's State of the Nation Address in Parliament. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG -After 44 years as leader, Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) president Mangosuthu Buthelezi has announced his decision to not stand for re-election at the party's elective conference later this year.

The announcement comes less than six months before South Africans head to the polls for what's being described as a “historic” election.

The party says Buthelezi had already expressed a desire to step down over a decade ago but was halted from making the move by the party's internal affairs.

The IFP is set to host its elective conference in July, with Buthelezi remaining president through the national elections.

The party's Mkhuleko Hlengwa explains: “He has indicated his intention to step down since 2006, but the party has always been riddled with problems, which culminated in the splinter party the NFP (National Freedom Party) in 2011. Since then he has been leading the force of reuniting the party and its branches.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)