IFP man ‘won’t be silenced’

2010-05-04 00:00

DESPITE his recent suspension, defiant Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) leader Wiseman Mcoyi has vowed to continue campaigning for the party’s national chairperson Zanele Magwaza-Msibi to be elected president at the IFP elective conference at the end of the month.

Mcoyi, a former IFP MPL, was temporarily suspended by the IFP’s National Council at the weekend after leading a march that blocked Langalibalele Street in Pietermaritzburg last week.

IFP supporters were protesting against the deployment of Magwaza-Msibi to the legislature, which they claim was done without consultation.

Magwaza-Msibi, who has been the Zululand District Municipality Mayor for more than a decade, was sworn in last week by Speaker Neliswa Nkonyeni.

During the ceremony IFP supporters led by Mcoyi and other leaders, swarmed the legislature and temporarily blocked Langalibalele Street carrying giant banners declaring Magwaza-Msibi the next IFP president.

At the weekend the IFP national committee decided to suspend Mcoyi pending his appearance before the party’s disciplinary committee.

In an interview with The Witness yesterday, Mcoyi described his suspension as “a desperate attempt by outgoing leadership to humiliate all Magwaza-Msibi supporters ahead of the coming conference”.

“They don’t want us to participate at the conference, but we will be there.

“Their time is finished; we will be voting in the new leadership under Magwaza-Msibi.

“I don’t see the effect of this suspension as it was done by the people who will not be at the helm of the party in about 20 days’ time. This is just a smokescreen,” Mcoyi said defiantly.

Following his suspension, Mcoyi questioned the existence of democracy within his organisation and said democracy was only paid lip service.

“I did not know that the IFP was run like an individual’s farm where we have to take orders.

“We have to revamp this organisation and get a people-orientated person in charge.”

Mcoyi said he learnt about his suspension from the media as no formal message had been conveyed to him so far.

As the day of the IFP conference approaches, the party is divided into two factions — one siding with Magwaza-Msibi and the other following general-secretary the Reverend Musa Zondi.

Ironically it was Zondi who announced Mcoyi’s suspension at the weekend, as he is also the party’s national spokesperson.

Magwaza-Msibi has consistently distanced herself from the current leadership wrangle by saying that she will only avail herself when re-nominated to the position of national chairperson.

Zondi is also not standing.

The party’s national council recommended that party president Mangosuthu Buthelezi be retained in order to maintain unity.

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