IFP supporters gathered in Ulundi to listen to their leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi addressing them for the last time before elections. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)

Durban - Thousands of IFP supporters gathered at the Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi Stadium in Ulundi on Sunday morning to listen to their leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi addressing them for the last time before elections on Wednesday. 

Scores of buses and minibus taxis delivered people from across KwaZulu-Natal to what they termed national 'Siyanqoba Rally'. The leadership from Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape and Western Cape also attended the final push for the party to convince voters. 

Ulundi is Buthelezi’s hometown and regarded as the party’s main stronghold.

IFP Youth Brigade national deputy chairperson, Zandile Majozi, who is based in Gauteng, said the IFP has prospects of getting substantial votes in Gauteng. 

“People in Gauteng know that we always raise issues of service delivery on their behalf. 

“We are confident that in that province people trust us and they will vote for the IFP,” said Majozi, who is on the party’s national list. 

Buthelezi had early this year announced that he was stepping down as the leader of the party and would no longer be party’s MP after the elections. He announced Secretary General Velenkosini Hlabisa, who is also the mayor of Hlabisa, in northern KwaZulu-Natal, as his successor. 

Majozi said even without Buthelezi, the party would continue to grow across the country.    

“IFP is going to survive, and it is going to continue to seek advice from him. As he is always been our leader and our founder whenever we meet difficulties we will always go back to him for advice and directions,” she said.

She said she expected Hlabisa to take over the leadership. 

“In the extended national council (of the IFP) that was held in Durban we chose Hlabisa, who is (IFP) KZN premier candidate, to take over as the leader when we go to the conference in July. 

“He is appealing to the IFP supporters as when he came to Gauteng to talk to us people welcomed him very well. We are very happy that we have young and vibrant candidate,” said Majozi.  

While waiting for the event to start, people were entertained with Mashandi and Kwaito music. 

Political Bureau