Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi. Picture: SOWETAN
Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi. Picture: SOWETAN

I wish to place on record my disappointment with your paper’s reference to the Inkatha Freedom Party’s (IFP’s) new deputy president as an "heir apparent" in an article (Resurgent IFP re-elects Buthelezi party president, chooses heir apparent, December 18).

The IFP is not a monarchy. Nor did our new deputy president inherit any position and neither has he been made the anointed successor to any position of power.

The delegates at the IFP’s 34th national elective conference adopted a road map that will pave the way for a smooth leadership transition. We amended our constitution to elect, for the first time, a deputy president. The IFP Youth Brigade’s Inkosi Mzamo Buthelezi, a 36-year-old from Mbongombongweni, based on his popularity, the strength of his leadership and his vision for the party’s future was elected the party’s first deputy president.

There were many other significant moments that defined our conference. Our new national executive committee includes seasoned political leaders. My election to the position of secretary-general means that for the first time a leader of the IFP’s Women’s Brigade has been elected to this position.

Prof CT Msimang retains his position as deputy secretary-general. Blessed Gwala was elected national chairman and Albert Mncwango becomes his deputy.

Our resolutions reflected on the many critical challenges facing our country for we recognise the crucial role that the IFP has to play on the road ahead.

We celebrated the growth in our support, as demonstrated through our many by-election victories, not just the triumph in Nkandla.

We recognised within these victories the cry of our nation for moral leadership and integrity.

The rank and file of the IFP left the historic conference united, with one vision, one voice and one shared purpose. Those were the real stories that emerged from our conference.

Sibongile Nkomo

IFP secretary-general