IFP axes man for ‘clique’ claims

2012-03-19 00:00

ANOTHER Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) member has been sacked after airing concerns that the party was in crisis and controlled by a clique of six people.

Former South African Democratic Students’ Movement (Sadesmo) president Chris Ntuli was booted out of the party on Friday night after appearing before the IFP’s national council in Durban.

Ntuli confirmed his expulsion to The Witness yesterday.

At the meeting he read out an eight-page document outlining his concerns about the alleged lack of internal democracy and that a group known as the “core group” was controlling the party.

He said the “clandestine, anti-democratic” group was gatekeeping positions and stifling the party and alleged that IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi was aware of this group and that it was dictating to Buthelezi about party processes.

Ntuli said the core group included deputy national spokesperson Joshua Mazibuko, administrative secretary Otto Kunene, and national council members Alco Ngobese and Nhlanhla Msimango.

In his remarks before the national committee, Ntuli claimed that a document he produced last year, titled “At his hour of approaching crisis” and posted on social media was the reason for his expulsion.

In the document Ntuli outlined that, among other things, many good leaders were suspended or expelled and that the IFP became a small, rural-based political party in 2011, winning only two local municipalities. He had also proposed that the party’s elective conference be held before the end of this month.

“I am here to assure the leadership that members of the IFP still respect the elected leadership of the party. But the huge problem facing the party at the moment is the fact that the leadership of the party is no longer leading the party but the party is now led by a cabal of less than six people, known as the core group.

“I am also here to canvass support among members of this council to stand with the people and say ‘no’ to this anti-democratic force which is waging a sugar-coated campaign to sideline [Buthelezi] from the file and ranks of the membership of his party … I am here to state unequivocally that time for change has come in the party …” Ntuli told the national council.

Buthelezi lambasted Ntuli last night, saying he was among staff members retrenched after the May 18 local government elections.

“When the party could no longer afford his salary, his loyalty waned and he became a bitter man.

“Mr Ntuli’s claims that the party is now controlled by a clique, that I no longer wield any power and that there is no democracy within our ranks.

“These are simply the ramblings of a deluded young man,” said Buthelezi.

Buthelezi added that the national council abided by the party’s constitution and afforded Ntuli an opportunity to air his views. After a secret ballot, members voted to sack Ntuli.

“Not only did he admit to stealing some of my confidential documents, but above everything else, he called our Indian colleagues “c**li*s”. In fact he stated that he hated Indian people … we could not allow such remarks to be condoned,” Buthelezi said.

 

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