IFP Velenkosini Hlabisa New IFP leader who

IFP President Velenkosini Hlabisa

Velenkosini Hlabisa: Qualifications, CV and work history of the new IFP president

Can this former principal lay down the law for the IFP? Velenkosini Hlabisa has some enormous shoes to fill, but it looks like he can “make the grade”.

IFP Velenkosini Hlabisa New IFP leader who

IFP President Velenkosini Hlabisa

Mangosuthu Buthelezi is a tough act to follow. The now-former IFP president, who had spent 44 years in charge of the party, officially stepped aside this weekend. If his replacement Velenkosini Hlabisa can spend even half of that time at the helm, he’d have done something right.

New era for the IFP

Hlabisa was appointed as the head honcho during the IFP Elective Conference this weekend. He was the party’s secretary-general and the preferred candidate of the outgoing Buthelezi. A challenge against this succession never really materialised, leaving Hlabisa to be declared the winner in the early hours of Sunday morning:

So, who is the man left the biggest shoes of all to fill? We’re taking a quick glance at the life and times of Velenkosini Hlabisa, and dissect everything you’ll need to know about the newest leader of South Africa’s fourth-biggest political party:

Velenkosini Hlabisa: Who is the new IFP leader?

Early life and school

He was born in Hlabisa, of all places, in KZN on 4 January 1965. He went to school in Mtubatuba and joined the IFP when he was just 13. He went on to serve across all their branches, from the youth brigade right up to the executive structures of the party, before ascending to the role of leadership.

Qualifications and degrees of Velenkosini Hlabisa

He matriculated in 1983 and went on to study at both the University of Zululand and Unisa. He completed his junior degree in 1991 and on the 15th of January 1992, on the day schools opened, Velinkosini Hlabisa began work as a teacher.

Previous work history

As we’ve just mentioned, he’s enjoyed a stellar career in education, starting off as a teacher and rising to the ranks of principal. It would seem that Hlabisa’s ambition has been burning for almost 30 years, as he’s climbed the ladder everywhere he’s been – that includes his 24 years as a councillor, and his service as mayor of KwaHlabisa.

Useful trivia

  • He remains a member of the KZN Finance branch in the provincial legislature.
  • The new leader also has the support of Mango Buthelezi, who has given his full backing to the former teacher.
  • There’s a bit of beef between him and KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala: Velenkosini Hlabisa slammed the ANC man for showing “hatred and immaturity” when he failed to acknowledge his IFP predecessors in an acceptance speech last month.