South Africa

Inkatha Freedom Party

Published 12th May, 2014

The Inkatha Freedom Party or IFP started life as early as the 1920s when it was largely a cultural liberation movement called Inkatha Ya Ka Zulu. The modern party was founded on 21st March 1975 by Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi and he remains its leader. The party believes in Conservatism and Federalism.

In its early existence the party tried to challenge the ANC as the champions of liberation. After the end of apartheid the party reformed itself as a multi-racial party, although its core group remains the Zulu nation based around KwaZulu-Natal

Because the IFP had worked with the white minority regime there were major differences between it and the ANC in the early 1990s and quite a lot of violence. Nevertheless the IFP contested the 1994 general election and won 43 seats in the 400 seat National Assembly.

Since then the party has gone into a gentle decline; in 1999 they won 34 seats, that dropped to 28 seats in 2004 and then 18 seats in 2009. Although, with the support of President Nelson Mandela there had been reconciliation between the IFP and ANC in the late 1990s, by 2009 much of the old feuding had started once more.

After 2009 the IFP suffered from further splits in its ranks and as a result in 2014 it dropped eight seats to win just 10 seats in the 400 seat National Assembly.

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