The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) used the funeral of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi on Saturday in Ulundi to make its intention known to wrestle KwaZulu-Natal away from the African National Congress (ANA) in the next elections.
That became more clear when the programme director, Reverend Thulasizwe Buthelezi, the IFP mayor of Zululand district municipality, led mourners in chanting IFP slogans about elections.
The IFP has previously made its intention known to oust the ANC out of power, the top priority is winning the province of KwaZulu-Natal.
NEWS: Speaking to IOL before the start of the official funeral of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the chairperson of the IFP in KZN, Thami Ntuli, said in honour of Buthelezi’s rich legacy, they will start by winning the upcoming by-elections in the City of UMhlathuze. @IOL pic.twitter.com/EVOwDn5WsB— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) September 16, 2023
Thulasizwe would occasionally lead in the chanting of IFP slogans and the crowd responded positively.
Almost 70 percent of the mourners that came through wore IFP regalia and were receptive to the chanting.
The crowd would time and again go wild when the name of IFP President, Velenkosini Hlabisa was mentioned.
Hlabisa is expected to be the IFP’s premier candidate for KwaZulu-Natal ahead of next year’s provincial and national elections.
PICS: BOSA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, and Prince Mthokozisi Mahlobo at the funeral of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi in Ulundi. Mahlobo, left, is tipped to succeed Buthelezi as the traditional prime minister of the Zulu monarch and nation. @IOL pic.twitter.com/PZSDHYpK95— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) September 16, 2023
At some point, Thulasizwe chanted “Iyaphi indlovu?”, [Where is the Elephant going?] and the crowd responded by saying, “iyaphambili, iyokwenzani” [To do what?]. Then he asked where the IFP was marching to, they responded by saying, ‘iyodla ukhetho’. [To win the elections].
Thulasizwe asked where is the elephant (the IFP) was marching to. And the crowd responded by saying it was marching forward to win the elections.
The crowd joined by the IFP women's brigade in the tbig marquee, joined him, signalling that the IFP was in an electioneering mood.
Speaking to IOL earlier, the chairperson of the IFP in KwaZulu-Natal, Thami Ntuli, said the party would not collapse under their watch.
He said while there would be differing opinions at times, that would not lead to factionalism, adding that the first honour they would give to the departed Buthelezi would be winning the upcoming by-elections at Mpembeni (ward 13) under the City of Umhlathuze.
#MangosuthuButhelezi - Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi's son, Prince Zuzifa, says they would honour his late father by defending his rich legacy, even if it means they become unpopular. He said they would do so because their father was not a coward and they have to emulate him. @IOL— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) September 16, 2023
The elections would be held later this month and the ward became vacant the resignation of a councillor of the ANC.