‘VZ’ to break free

2011-01-18 00:00

THERE are strong indications that another new political party is on the brink of being established in South Africa by the beleaguered Inkatha Freedom Party national chairperson, Zanele “VZ” Magwaza-Msibi, who failed in a court case yesterday to force her party to hold an elective conference.

Addressing her supporters at Market Square, Pietermaritzburg, Magwaza-Msibi said she will make an announcement about her future at a press conference tomorrow with other IFP leaders who have supported her

She was speaking after the high court in Pietermaritzburg dismissed her application to force the IFP to hold an elective conference and to prevent it from hauling her before a disciplinary hearing,

In a strong indication that she is to establish a new political party, Magwaza-Msibi assured her supporters that she will contest the forthcoming local government elections.

She indicated that since IFP president Mangosuthu Buthelezi reportedly said there would be no reconciliation between her and the IFP, she would consider other options. “If that door is closed, other doors are opening for me.

“The court’s decision is an indication to us for a political decision to be taken. We are left with no option … The fact is we can no longer regain [the working] relationship that we had with the IFP leadership that we had been loyal to … They have shown that they don’t want us in their fold …

“We will work hard to ensure that we will be there, participating in the local government elections.

“We cannot allow our political careers to die like that …” Magwaza-Msibi said to loud applause and ululation from her supporters.

She said she does not “have time or energy” to appeal the court’s decision and described it as a victory for IFP members “who had been suffering for a long time under the current leadership”.

“I was being victimised for becoming popular and working very hard for the party. I had no alternative but was forced to take the party to court because if I did not do that, I would be history today within the party leadership …”

She told her supporters that for the past two-and-a-half years she had been suffering at the hands of the IFP’s national council and that last year she was forced to take her 15-year-old daughter to another country because she received threats from IFP supporters.

Talk of Magwaza-Msibi establishing a new political party was already circulating before the court case, with a rumour doing the rounds that its formation was mooted at a meeting of IFP supporters in one of her strongholds at a hostel in KwaMashu outside Durban.

However, IFP councillor and staunch Magwaza-Msibi supporter Bhungu Gwala denied that such a meeting was held.

During a meeting of Magwaza-Msibi’s sympathisers, held at a secret venue in Pietermaritzburg on December 9, most of the people who attended were in favour of establishing a new party that she would lead.

Despite her appeal for discipline and for her supporters to stop insulting IFP leaders, a couple of IFP flags and T-shirts were burned minutes after her address.

During the impromptu rally outside the high court, Magwaza-Msibi supporters were addressed by IFP leaders from different regions who pledged their support for her.

Among them were the chairperson of the izinduna in KZN, Muzi Nyandeni — who appealed to amabutho not to be manipulated by the IFP — eThekwini councillors and other senior party leaders, including Devas Mncwabe, leaders of the Self-Protection Units and a host of expelled Magwaza-Msibi followers.

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