A small group of NFP members have gathered at the Gugu Dlamini Park in Durban to protest against the IEC's decision to disqualify it after the party failed to pay the deposit. (Amnda Khoza, News24)
Durban – NFP members will be “uncontrollable” should the Electoral Court rule that the party cannot contest the elections, its KwaZulu-Natal chairperson said on Thursday.
“I cannot pre-empt how our members will react if the court is not in favour of our application tomorrow. They are angry. There is definitely going to be something, and they will be uncontrollable in KwaZulu-Natal,” Vikizitha Mlotshwa said.
He was speaking at the Gugu Dlamini Park in Durban, where a small group of National Freedom Party members gathered to picket against the Electoral Commission of SA’s (IEC) decision to disqualify the party after it failed to pay its R400 000 deposit by the June 2 deadline.
Parties had to submit their candidate lists and pay their deposit by that date. Those who failed to meet the deadline were immediately disqualified from taking part in the August 3 local government elections.
The party would appeal the IEC’s decision in the Electoral Court in Bloemfontein on Friday.
It emerged on Tuesday that the party’s national executive committee led by Maliyakhe Shelembe, Nhlanhla Khubisa, and Xolani Ndlovu were responsible for making the payment.
Mlotshwa did not know what action would be taken against those who were responsible for the debacle, but was certain the NEC would deal with the matter.
Ndlovu apparently sent the IEC a cheque, which bounced. He allegedly paid the money after the deadline.
“We got the dates confused, according to those who were responsible for making the payment. But this does not stop us from contesting the elections,” Mlotshwa said.
Party president Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi was expected to address a special national working committee meeting in Durban on Saturday.
Mlotshwa was confident the court would rule in the party’s favour.
“We are the fifth biggest party in South Africa, what will happen if we did not contest?”
He said there were no factions in the party.
“As far as squabbles are concerned, it’s time to rise above that now and face what is happening right now.
“This will not worsen the infighting within the party,” said Mlotshwa. They would not tell members to vote for another party.
In 2009, the IEC disqualified the Western Cape ANC from taking part in by-elections after failing to pay its deposit.
In 2011, the IFP was disqualified from contesting elections in the Umzumbe municipality on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast. It had failed to submit its candidate list to the IEC by the closing date.
South Africans were first introduced to NFP's Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi, a former school principal and mayor in Zululand, in 2011.
KaMagwaza-Msibi, who is also deputy science and technology minister, left the Inkatha Freedom Party just before the 2011 local government elections. Her party formed a coalition with the ANC after there were 19 hung municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal.
The ANC recently said it intended not to co-govern municipalities with any parties.
Since its formation, the NFP had been plagued by internal battles for positions, with leaders taking each other to court.
The party suffered a further blow when kaMagwaza-Msibi suffered a stroke in November 2014.