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New IFP leader Velenkosini Hlabisa ready to hit the ground running

Hlabisa assured party members that he would champion the fight against violence against women and children and grow party structures.

Velenkosini Hlabisa looks on at Mangosuthu Buthelezi portrait at the IFP's offices in Ulundi, KwaZulu-Natal. Picture: Xanderleigh Dookey/EWN

ULUNDI - Newly elected Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) president Velenkosini Hlabisa has vowed to hit the ground running in efforts of fulfilling the dreams of his predecessor Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

Hlabisa delivered his first address as party president in Ulundi on Sunday, where the IFP concluded its national elective conference.

He assured party members that he would champion the fight against violence against women and children and grow party structures.

Hlabisa thanked IFP members for believing in him and said his next move included a national campaign to spread his vision as the new IFP leader.

“I will be embarking on a nationwide tour to meet the people from village to village, township to township, city to city to hear the forgotten voices and to unearth the wealth of wisdom of our people,” he said.

In an Eyewitness News exclusive at the weekend, Hlabisa paid tribute to his predecessor. Buthelezi led the party for 44 years.

“I have learned and acquired a lot from him. The qualities of being an honest leader, being consistent in what you are saying, [and] not being afraid to say what is right irrespective of what other people will say.”

Hlabisa served as the leader of the official opposition in the KZN legislature.

WATCH: Meet Velenkosini Hlabisa - IFP's new president

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