Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, who is stepping down after 44 years at the helm, made it clear that he wants leaders of integrity and credibility to lead the party. Picture:Sibonelo Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)

Durban - The party’s leader looked at the struggle for economic and social justice in his opening address to delegates on Friday. Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, who is stepping down after 44 years at the helm, made it clear that he wants leaders of integrity and credibility to lead the party.

1. In conferences like this, we have elected leaders, adopted policies, debated issues, opened our hearts, and reached consensus. We have chosen the path of moral integrity and confirmed it again and again.

2. But this conference is different. It has been accompanied by unprecedented hype and speculation. Because in this conference, Buthelezi will step down.

3. Our focus this weekend will be on the dire and threatening problems of the present. The economic crisis, the plague of unemployment, the failure of the education system, the collapse of leadership integrity, the mounting violence against women and children. As much as this conference is a watershed moment in the history of the IFP, it takes place at a watershed moment in our country.

4.We welcome your participation in all the debates, and we thank you for your commitment to the IFP’s vision. We know that you will engage this conference with wisdom, discipline and unity.

5. The electoral results of 2019 have said more than I ever could. I believe this conference will speak for itself as well. There is democracy in this Party, and robust debate. But above all there is unity, for we all subscribe to that great vision of a just and free South Africa.

Political Bureau