Defections rock IFP councils

2011-02-08 00:00

THE embattled Inkatha Freedom Party continues to lose councillors and constituencies in different parts of KwaZulu-Natal to its new arch-rival, the National Freedom Party (NFP), led by former chairperson Zanele “VZ” Magwaza-Msibi.

This week 14 out of 30 IFP councillors in municipalities under uMgungundlovu District Municipality announced their defection to the NFP.

A former IFP councillor and now the NFP’s interim Pietermaritzburg district leader, Ntokozo Bhengu, said the figure is growing as more IFP councillors in the district are disillusioned with the party and are only waiting for the NFP to start announcing its candidates before flocking to the party.

Bhengu who was recently expelled from the IFP, said the 14 councillors who defected were five from uMsunduzi, two from Mpofana Municipality, three are from uMshwathi, two are from iMpendle Municipality and two from the district municipality.

“These defections mean that in municipalities like iMpendle and Mpofana, the IFP no longer have representatives as those councillors who defected were only ones the IFP managed to get during the last local government elections. There are also possible defectors in the other two municipalities, Mkhambathini and uMngeni.

“It is also interesting to note that all those who defected did not come alone as they defected with their branches from their areas.

“We are also recruiting from areas where the IFP failed to establish themselves, like in KwaPata, Ashdown, Cinderella Park and many others,” boasted Bhengu.

IFP provincial secretary Dr Bonginkosi Buthelezi said the IFP would not dignify Bhengu’s “wild allegations” with a comment.

“If a councillor defects they resign from their party and we have received no resignations from our uMgungundlovu municipalities. In such a war, the truth becomes the first casualty. They (NFP) are trying to confuse the people in order to destabilise our party,” Buthelezi said.

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