President of the Inkatha Freedom Party Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi. Picture: Sibusiso Ndlovu/African News Agency (ANA)

Durban - Former IFP national chairperson Ziba Jiyane has admitted that he has rejoined the party he left unceremoniously more than a decade ago after a fallout with its president Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

He said his intention of rejoining was to run for the party’s presidential position. But he accused senior party leaders of resisting his comeback to his political home to contest the presidential post.

Jiyane, who has been described as a serial party hopper in political circles, said if elected he would install the culture of internal democracy in the IFP.

When asked if he would contest to replace Buthelezi, he said “yes”.

“It is in the interests of the country for the IFP to be democratic, because all parties must be democratic if they are going to participate in our democratic order.

“Just as I criticised the ANC about corruption, I have also criticised the IFP about its lack of internal democracy,” said Jiyane.

Yesterday, Jiyane, who left the party in 2005, said he returned to the IFP after he had last year been invited by certain IFP members through Facebook to go up against Velenkosini Hlabisa, the party’s national secretary who is believed to have been favoured by party structures to replace Buthelezi.

The party is expected to hold its national elective conference between August 23 and 25.

Jiyane, who had previously unsuccessfully contested to be the DA’s KwaZulu-Natal chairperson, said he was an ANC member when he was approached by some IFP members to return to the party.

But he said some senior members of the IFP’s national executive committee had verbally attacked him for returning to the party.

Political Bureau