Dumisani Hlophe: Bhuthelezi is handing over the IFP when it is weak

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi announced that he will be stepping down from the party’s leadership at its next elective conference.

Centre For Development Research's Dumisani Hlophe says the legacy Buthelezi leaves behind is questionable because while he was an icon to some, he was also considered controversial.

Hlophe tells Midday Report stand-in host, Ray White that he was never convinced that the IFP could have grown larger than opposition party, the African National Congress (ANC).

Hlophe says Buthelezi's departures poses two problems for the IFP.

I think the first challenge is that we tend to forget that Buthelezi was deemed a prince in KwaZulu Natal. And in that part of the world when you are linked to royalty, it isn't your political articulation that matters but also the status one carries.

Dumisani Hlophe, political analyst and Centre For Development Research executive director

Hlophe cites that Buthelezi's successor may not be able to carry any royal identity to assist the party.

The second problem is Bhuthelezi handing over the IFP when it is weak or at its weakest moment in history, therefore expecting the new leader to rebuild and strengthen the organisation.

Dumisani Hlophe, political analyst and Centre For Development Research executive director

The problem with the IFP is that whilst traditionally it is expected to dominate in KZN, even there it is failing says Hlophe.

Its fortunes in the last few months are a result of the ANC and National Freedom Party (NFP) that have not been doing well and those who were unhappy returning to the IFP.

Dumisani Hlophe, political analyst and Centre For Development Research executive director

Listen to the full analysis in the clip below:


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