IFP’s Lukhele stands firm

2010-07-13 00:00

THE man who took Inkatha Freedom Party’s (IFP) president Mangosuthu Buthelezi and the entire IFP leadership to court last week said he embarked on this action because he wants “to challenge unfairness that had been going on for some time within the IFP”.

Sibusiso Brian Mbusi Lukhele, the deputy district secretary of the dissolved structure of the IFP in Amajuba district, said this in an exclusive interview with The Witness yesterday, following the court action.

Lukhele and eight other leaders from eight different IFP districts in KwaZulu-Natal have taken the IFP, Buthelezi and other top IFP leaders to court to ensure that the status of its forthcoming elective conference is not changed and that all members expelled by the national council are returned before the conference.

The conference is scheduled to take place in Ulundi from July 23 to 25.

The list of respondents includes national chairperson Veronica Zanele Magwaza-Msibi, general secretary the Reverend Musa Zondi and Mangaqa Albert Mncwango.

Other respondents are the Institute for Democracy in South African (Idasa) and the Electoral Institute for the Sustainability of Democracy in South Africa (EISDSA) which are directed to monitor and conduct the elections at the conference.

Lukhele said he was warned not to attend the weekend meeting but the mandate of the IFP supporters in Amajuba was given to other delegates.

“The problem with the current IFP leadership, whose term of office has already expired, is that they are not fair as they want to remove all people perceived to be against them before the conference is held. We are attempting to stop that situation because that means democracy will not prevail at the conference,” Lukhele said.

This former South African Communist Party (SACP) and ANC member, who joined the IFP in 2005, said before being elected to the district, he stood as an independent councillor during the 2006 local government elections.

Lukhele rejected Zondi’s comment last week that the applicants in this matter “are drunk with money” by instituting the court action.

“We are using our own cash destined for the wellbeing of our families to challenge illegitimate action within our parties. No one is funding our campaign,” Lukhele said.

Yesterday Mncwango said the party went to court on Friday and managed to stop the granting of the interdict before the weekend meeting.

Mncwango also confirmed that the matter is going to court again on Thursday whereby the judge will pronounce his decision on the application.

“As the IFP, we are asking who are these people [the applicants] to take us to court and which structures are they representing as party structures are in charge of the organisation?”asked Mncwango.

On the reports that Magwaza-Msibi has been hauled before the disciplinary committee, Mncwango denied that and said the national council only called for an inquiry to be launched into the activities of the “Friends of VZ”.

In a statement issued by Zondi last night, he said the weekend meeting resolved the following:

•that all members of the party foster the old culture of respect for all leaders in the party.

• that stern disciplinary action will be taken against anyone promoting disunity within the party.

“Reports therefore claiming that the IFP’s extended national council had rejected a resolution for the party’s upcoming conference to be made a non-elective conference are completely false. Such a resolution was never discussed.

“Furthermore, claims that the national chairperson will now face a disciplinary committee are also grossly inaccurate.

“The national council unanimously decided — taking into consideration our urgent need to reunite, refocus and chart a way forward — to launch an internal inquiry into the conduct of the national chairperson, and while the IFP president noted his reservations on the matter, the national council felt that it would be an opportunity for Mrs Magwaza-Msibi to clear the air and her name.

“An inquiry by nature is a problem-solving exercise and not a witch-hunt of some sort, as a number of media reports have tried to portray it.” Zondi said.

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