NFP leader returns

2015-06-29 11:09
NFP members in Mkhambathini this weekend. The party held a regional elective conference to elect leaders from Umgungundlovu district.

NFP members in Mkhambathini this weekend. The party held a regional elective conference to elect leaders from Umgungundlovu district. (Thamsanqa Magubane )

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Pietermaritzburg - NFP leader Zanele Magwaza-Msibi is on the mend and is expected back at work in July, according to the party’s top brass.

Magwaza-Msibi, the party’s founder who broke away from the IFP before the 2011 local government elections, has been absent from public life for approximately eight months after it was widely speculated that she suffered a stroke.

Her condition and location in recent months have also been kept a secret.

“She can now walk without being assisted. We know the actual date she will be returning to work, but we are not allowed to release those details,” said Msawenkosi Maphumulo, who was elected chairperson of the NFP for the uMgungundlovu District this past weekend at a regional conference held in Mkhambathini.

He said they expected the party leader would also be assuming her government post as of next month, but would not offer any further details.

Magwaza-Msibi is also the deputy minister in the Department of Science and Technology as a result of her party being in a coalition agreement with the ANC. The coalition, largely at a local government level, is a key reason why the once powerful IFP, which controlled the province politically from 1994 to 2004, has since been reduced to running a handful of rural municipalities.

Professor Nhlanhla Khubisa, the party’s secretary, concurred with Maphumulo. “The family has informed us that she [kMagwaza-Msibi] is getting better.”

Asked when last the party leaders visited Magwaza-Msibi, he would only say her medical team had asked that she be given time to recuperate.

Magwaza-Msibi’s voice has not been heard even with the party being embroiled in an internal conflict, including the widely publicised tit-for-tat verbal battle between eThekwini councillor Wiseman Mcoyi and his supporters who wrote a letter demanding that the current NFP national chairperson Maliyakhe Shelembe should cease to carry out the affairs of the party.

Speaking on the conference, Maphumulo said they were happy with the turnout. The conference was short and sweet lasting just five hours.

“We had expected around 300 people, but around 500 people attended,” he said.

He said the delegates had resolved to pledge their loyalty to Magwaza-Msibi.

“We know there are problems in the party, but we want to state clearly that this region fully supports Magwaza-Msibi and we wait for her return.”

Delegates represented in the conference were from Msunduzi, Richmond, Mkhambathini, uMngeni, Mpofana Umshwathi and Impendle municipalities

Read more on:    nfp  |  politics

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