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Velenkosini Fiki Hlabisa (born 4 January 1965) is a South African politician and former teacher who is President of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and Leader of the Opposition in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature. He previously served as Secretary-General of the IFP and Mayor of the Big Five Hlabisa Local Municipality.[1][2][3]


Velenkosini Hlabisa

President of the Inkatha Freedom Party
Assumed office
25 August 2019
DeputyInkosi Buthelezi
Preceded byMangosuthu Buthelezi
Leader of the Opposition in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature
Assumed office
22 May 2019
PremierSihle Zikalala
Preceded byZwakele Mncwango
Member of the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature
Assumed office
22 May 2019
Mayor of the Big Five Hlabisa Local Municipality
In office
3 August 2016 – 22 May 2019
Preceded byPosition established
Personal details
Born
Velenkosini Fiki Hlabisa

(1965-01-05) 5 January 1965 (age 54)
Hlabisa, Natal, South Africa
NationalitySouth African
Political partyInkatha Freedom Party
Alma materUniversity of Zululand
University of South Africa

Early life, education and careerEdit

Velenkosini Fiki Hlabisa was born on 4 January 1965 in Hlabisa, Northern Natal. He is the eldest of ten children. He joined the IFP Youth Brigade at the age of thirteen in 1978 and matriculated from high school in 1983. Hlabisa then proceeded to study at the University of Zululand and the University of South Africa. His father passed away while he was at university in 1990. In 1991, he sought employment as a teacher and worked as a teacher at Ngebeza High School for five years and soon as principal of Somfula High School for twenty years.[4][5]

Political careerEdit

In the 1995 municipal elections, Hlabisa was elected a municipal councillor for the town of Hlabisa. He continuously served as a municipal councillor for twenty-four years, during which he was Mayor of the Big Five Hlabisa Local Municipality from 2016 to 2019.[6] He was elected to the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature in May 2019 and was given the title of Leader of the Opposition due to the IFP reclaiming the title of the second-largest party in the province.[7] Hlabisa is a member of the legislature's Finance committee.[8]

Since joining the IFP in 1978, Hlabisa has risen through the party's leadership ranks. He was elected Secretary-General of the party in 2011. In 2017, the IFP's Extended National Council unanimously endorsed Hlabisa to succeed Mangosuthu Buthelezi as party president. Hlabisa was elected unopposed as the new leader of the IFP at the party's 35th National General Conference held in August 2019.[9][10][11]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Evans, Jenni (25 August 2019). "Velenkosini Hlabisa takes the helm as IFP elects first new president in 44 years". News24. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  2. ^ "Velenkosini Hlabisa elected IFP's new president". SABC. 25 August 2019. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  3. ^ "Meet the IFP's new president Velenkosini Hlabisa". Eyewitness News. 25 August 2019. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  4. ^ Mkentane, Luyolo (25 August 2019). "IFP elects Velenkosini Hlabisa as president to replace Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi". Business Day. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  5. ^ Duma, Nkosikhona (25 August 2019). "Five things you need to need to know about new IFP leader Velenkosini Hlabisa". Eyewitness News. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  6. ^ Mavuso, Sihle (4 June 2019). "Four KZN municipalities to elect new mayors following vacancies". Independent Online (IOL). Retrieved 25 August 2019. Hlabisa, a former school principal, was the mayor of the Big Five Hlabisa local municipality in northern KZN.
  7. ^ "Velenkosini Hlabisa takes baton from Mangosuthu Buthelezi as IFP president". SowetanLIVE. 25 August 2019. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  8. ^ Head, Tom (25 August 2019). "Velenkosini Hlabisa: Qualifications, CV and work history of the new IFP president". The South African. Retrieved 25 August 2019. He remains a member of the KZN Finance branch in the provincial legislature.
  9. ^ "Buthelezi's successor believes he can take the IFP forward". Independent Online (IOL). 30 October 2017. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  10. ^ "IFP elects Velenkosini Hlabisa as new leader after 44 years of Buthelezi". The Citizen. 25 August 2019. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  11. ^ "Ex school principal Velenkosini Hlabisa takes baton from Mangosuthu Buthelezi as IFP president". TimesLIVE. 25 August 2019. Retrieved 25 August 2019.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Zwakele Mncwango
Leader of the Opposition in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature
2019–present
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by
Mangosuthu Buthelezi
President of the Inkatha Freedom Party
2019–present
Incumbent