Ex-IFP mayors in showdown

2011-11-19 00:00

TWO former Inkatha Freedom Party mayors will be battling it out for the powerful position of leading the National Freedom Party’s biggest and most influential province, KwaZulu-Natal, at the inaugural elective conference in Ladysmith this weekend.

NFP national organiser Bonga Nzuza confirmed that Vikizitha Mlotshwa, former mayor of Okhahlamba (Bergville), and Bhekinkosi “Bobby” Ntombela, former mayor of KwaHlabisa municipality on the North Coast, are the only candidates nominated by regions to become NFP chairperson in KZN.

Mlotshwa was dismissed as mayor at the height of internal ructions within the IFP.

About 2 000 NFP delegates from across the province will converge on the party’s inaugural elective conference at Mnambithi Indoor Sports Centre tomorrow.

Nzuza said Ntombela was nominated by the NFP’s Zululand district, the party’s largest district.

It will be sending about 267 delegates.

Mlotshwa is backed by more than four districts, including his district of uThukela, which is biggest region within the NFP, and will have 204 delegates.

Ntombela became the deputy mayor of KwaHlabisa municipality after an agreement between the NFP and the ANC to co-govern 19 hung municipalities where no clear winner emerged after the May 18 local government elections.

Mlotshwa is a member of uThukela District Municipality’s executive committee under a similar arrangement.

Although the NFP is the new kid on the block in the South African political arena, its road to the provincial conference and the December 2 to 5 national conference is not without obstacles.

Nzuza confirmed that there will be a re-run of the eThekwini region’s inaugural conference following a dispute declared by Roy Bhengu of KwaMashu.

Bhengu was running for district chairman against Muzi Nyandeni, who won.

The Bhengu faction claimed that the voting process was rigged because some branches were unfairly disqualified.

uMzinyathi and Sisonke districts are yet to hold their conferences and delegates from these areas will be coming straight from their branch meetings.

Vusumuzi Khoza and Ntokozo Myeni, both from eThekwini district, will be contesting the position of provincial secretary.

Nzuza said manageable tensions developed during other district conferences, especially when it came to the election of office-bearers.

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