The woman who stood up to Shenge

2010-12-27 11:23

IFP national chairperson Zanele ­Magwaza-Msibi spent most of 2010 fighting party president Mangosuthu Buthelezi and his inner circle for having committed the cardinal sin of attempting to modernise the party and of ­listening to dissenting voices within its ranks.

Unlike other leaders who have stood up to Buthelezi before – among them Dr Sibusiso Bhengu and Dr Ziba Jiyane – Magwaza-Msibi has shown the strength and ­tenacity to go the distance.

She has chosen to stay the course, taking the party’s unelected National Council to the ­Pietermaritzburg High Court in a bid to stop them from firing her and to force them to hold the party’s elective conference, which has been repeatedly postponed.

Magwaza-Msibi was removed from her influential post as Zululand mayor and installed as a backbencher in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature to cut her off from her support base in Ulundi, ­Nongoma and Vryheid.

She will have to wait till the new year to know if her court bid has worked, as judgment has been reserved by Judge Chiman Patel.

The mother-of-two also faces a serious security threat after the IFP removed her bodyguards, just days after five people were wounded when Buthelezi’s supporters stormed a meeting she was addressing at Enseleni near Empangeni and opened fire on the crowd that had gathered to hear her speak.

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