IFP fires scores of councillors after defections

2011-01-31 00:00

INKATHA Freedom Party has announced the removal of its former national chairperson, Zanele Magwaza-Msibi, as its MPL in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature and ordered the expulsion of all councillors who have defected to her New Freedom Party (NFP).

IFP national spokesperson Musa Zondi said the national council that met at the weekend decided, among other things, to “endorse Magwaza-Msibi’s severance of membership of the IFP with immediate effect on the grounds that she failed to appear before the IFP national council …”

Magwaza-Msibi announced the formation of the NFP last week after the IFP national council attempted to haul her before a disciplinary committee that was scheduled to convene on Saturday.

“She cannot continue to represent the IFP in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature as a member of another political party,” Zondi said.

He said the national council also decided to summarily expel all councillors who have joined the NFP from the IFP and “revoke their positions on their respective councils on the grounds that as members of another political party, they cannot be public representatives of the IFP”.

About 49 of the 62 IFP councillors in Nongoma, Ulundi and eDumbe announced their defection to the NFP last Wednesday.

The IFP’s move to expel them is expected to render the IFP-controlled Zululand District Municipality dysfunctional as those who are left do not constitute a quorum.

Ward councillors cannot be replaced until the local government elections are held. The last by-elections before the forthcoming ballot were held on January 19 countrywide.

Speaking to The Witness, Magwaza-Msibi said her expulsion from the legislature is “water under the bridge” as she had already accepted the IFP’s constructive dismissal last week.

She said the decision to expel councillors who crossed to NFP will give them more time to do NFP work “as we want to sweep IFP municipalities at the coming local government elections”.

“While the IFP concentrates on expelling us, we are planning to take more councillors and their constituencies as tomorrow [today] eight out of 13 IFP councillors in Mandeni are going to resign. There are also some councillors and leaders who are going to resign in Ophongolo and Nkandla municipalities,” Magwaza-Msibi said.

She said that tomorrow she will be visiting the headquarters of the Nazareth Baptist Church, also known as the Shembe church, in the eBuhleni faction in Inanda to introduce her party to the Shembe church leader, Inkosi Vimbeni Shembe.

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