Teargas sprayed at NFP meeting

2013-05-15 00:00

THERE was drama at a meeting of the National Freedom Party (NFP) in Vryheid on Monday when teargas was sprayed and provincial leaders were pelted with eggs and stones.

This came after provincial party leaders, led by chairperson Vikizitha Mlotshwa, visited the area to notify members of the expulsion of two councillors in Abaqulusi Municipality.

Meanwhile, Pietermaritzburg high court Judge Trevor Gorven yesterday granted an urgent order in chambers temporarily staying the NFP’s decision to expel Abaqulusi Deputy Mayor Nonkululeko Patricia Ndlela and mayoral executive member Sakhayedwa Sakhi Siyaya.

He similarly granted an interim order staying the expulsion of Umsinga NFP Exco member Nompumelelo Zondi.

The interim order is effective pending the finalisation of an appeal or application for review of the decision by the NFP to expel the three councillors.

The NFP and JB Ngema, chairperson of the NFP’s disciplinary committee, have until May 29 to respond.

Ndlela said her affidavit in the case had been drafted in extreme haste “due to the unlawful and unfair conduct” by the NFP and Ngema.

She said she and Siyaya first learnt of their expulsion on May 10, and a council meeting was planned for yesterday at which councillors intended to discuss proposed candidates to fill the “vacancies” and to suspend her and Siyaya’s salaries.

Ndlela said they had both appealed the decision, and this should have the effect of suspending their expulsions, but the NFP seemed to have “ignored” this.

The party last week expelled Ndlela, Siyaya and Zondi for siding with the Inkatha Freedom Party in council meetings. Their expulsion arose from unhappiness among some NFP members who are sympathetic to the IFP and disapprove of their party’s alliance with the ANC to co-govern 19 municipalities.

Mlotshwa downplayed the incident, saying those who disrupted the meeting were drunkards brought in from a nearby tavern.

He said fewer than 10% of people in attendance were drunk and started toyi-toying, and moving around with eggs and stones.

The NFP chair said the group was asked to leave and the meeting continued outside the hall after teargas was sprayed inside.

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