Thousands flock to hear Magwaza-Msibi speak at uThukela

2011-02-09 00:00

THE leader of the newly-formed National Freedom Party, Zanele ”VZ” Magwaza-Msibi, continued to make inroads in Inkatha Freedom Party strongholds as thousands of supporters in the uThukela district flocked to meetings she addressed yesterday.

The former IFP national chairperson is conducting the final introduction of her new party before the NFP holds its formal launch at Durban’s Curries Fountain this Saturday.

Last month Magwaza-Msibi and a host of expelled IFP leaders publicly announced they were aligning themselves with the NFP.

The party was secretly registered with the Independent Electoral Commission in November last year, after it became clear that relations with the IFP would not be restored.

uThukela district is a known IFP stronghold and the party controls all local municipalities, except for one uMnambithi district which is under the ANC.

Magwaza-Msibi told her supporters the NFP is not going to be like other South African splinter groups — the National Democratic Convention (Nadeco) that split from the IFP and the Congress of the People (Cope) from the ANC — which are currently on the brink of collapse because of internal power struggles.

“We are not like Cope or Nadeco because we were not established out of anger or because we wanted positions …

“We were rejected by our own party and we had to find a new political home to operate from …

“I swear the IFP will reap what they sow, their tricks will be over, starting from these coming local government elections.”

In the eight meetings that she addressed yesterday crowds of people of all ages packed community halls to capacity to listen to her.

Magwaza-Msibi began her trip at the eMabhanoyini area of Estcourt, which is the home of the expelled former IFP mayor and staunch NFP supporter, Maliyakhe Lymon Shelembe.

She ended in Bergville in Okhahlamba Municipal District, the hometown of another expelled IFP mayor, Vikizitha Mlotshwa, who was part of the VZ entourage.

She could not hold her tears as she hugged members of the families of Sbusiso Mnikathi and Smangele Khumalo, who were the first casualties in the internicine IFP violence in the Estcourt area.

She apologised for failing to attend their funerals and said this was due to her being under “house arrest” when she was still in the IFP.

At a community hall in Imbabazane Municipality, nine of 15 IFP local councillors were introduced as new members of the NFP. Among them were the deputy mayor and the speaker of the municipality.

In Okhahlamba 11 out of 16 IFP councillors in the municipality were introduced as new NFP members.

The areas she visited were asked to identify 10 of their poorest communities, to whom the NFP leaders donated groceries and grocery vouchers.

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