IFP rebel’s party to contest elections in 4 provinces

2011-01-25 12:24

IFP rebel Zanele Magwaza-Msibi has officially unveiled her National Freedom Party (NFP) at a media briefing in Durban, vowing to contest the coming local government elections throughout KwaZulu-Natal and in at least three other provinces.

Thousands of her supporters packed into the Durban City Hall and the Medwood Gardens across the road in an impressive show of support for the former IFP national chairperson, who today said she “accepted” her de facto “constructive dismissal’’ by the party which she joined at its launch in 1975. She unveiled the new party’s logo – flames rising from a black bowl on an orange background – and said she would tomorrow hold a rally in Ulundi and Nongoma, her strongest constituencies, where she was district mayor for more than eight years, to make contact with her supporters.

From there she will hold meetings throughout KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape and other provinces before the party’s official launch on February 12.Magwaza-Msibi said her supporters had registered a party with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) some months ago as a “fall-back position’’ in case her legal challenge to the IFP’s leadership – which was thrown out of court last week – failed.

She said the new party would hold a series of consultative meetings with supporters in the coming days before going into a policy conference at which its position on key issues including unemployment, HIV/Aids, education, health and issues affecting women and the youth, will be discussed.

IFP leaders from ward, constituency and district level turned out in numbers to endorse the new party, which also drew the blessing of traditional leaders from across the province. She said her members would move to bring whole IFP branches to the new party, which she said she believed would not go the route of Cope and Nadeco, which broke away from the ANC and the IFP respectively.

“I accept there are challenges ahead and that history does not inspire the formation of new political parties after 1994. I am inspired by the calibre of the leadership that we have, the groundswell of support that we have received from those who have walked with us this far across all political formations and from all organs of civil society throughout the country that I am convinced that we will succeed,” she said.

There was a massive police presence outside the city hall, with the road closed to traffic as her supporters poured into the area to hear her speak.

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