IFP: Others took axes to fist fight

2013-10-25 00:00

THE IFP yesterday blamed the ANC and NFP’s use of state resources for its dwindling fortunes and failure to retain control of the three wards the party previously held in Nongoma in Wednesday’s by-elections.

The by-elections were held after three IFP councillors defected to the ANC in August.

The results showed that the NFP’s Mbongeleni Victor Ntombela and Nombuyana Samuel Ncube grabbed Ward 10 and 11 respectively, while the ANC’s Sithembiso Bonginkosi Gumbi won Ward 5.

It was the first time the ANC won a ward in Nongoma, which used to be a stronghold of the IFP.

However, the results have not changed the balance of power in the municipality co-governed by the NFP and ANC.

The NFP now has 21 seats, IFP 14 and ANC seven.

IFP national chairperson Blessed Gwala likened the IFP’s defeat to going into a bare-knuckle boxing match against an opponent who used lethal equipment.

“The NFP used state resources through Zululand and Nongoma municipalities which it controls while the ANC used resources from all provincial departments in their campaign,” he said.

Gwala’s comments were in reference to last week’s reports that the provincial government launched and handed over development projects to communities in the municipal area.

He said the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) was “toothless” in refereeing the by-elections.

“The IEC does not look what source of ammunition you went into the ring with. It just announces that the elections were free and fair when some went with bare hands and others with guns and axes,” Gwala charged.

ANC spokesperson Senzo Mkhize poured scorn on Gwala’s statements, saying the IFP had used state resources and cars from the Ulundi Municipality to campaign there.

“They must sort out their internal problems because people in Inkatha are sick and tired of their leadership. They must do self-introspection,” Mkhize said.

The NFP was not immediately available to react to the IFP statement, but in a statement party leader Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi said:

“This victory is a vote of confidence in the NFP by the people of Nongoma and it boosts our confidence as we intensify the campaign to win KwaZulu-Natal during the 2014 general elections.”

Meanwhile, the ANC’s Linda Doris Majola won Ward 29 in the Port Shepstone-based Hibiscus Coast Municipality.

bongwe.maqhina@witness.co.za

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