ANC welcomes defectors

2011-03-04 00:00

“WOMEN in the IFP are in a prison without walls. I wish they can one day be liberated.”

This is part of what former Inkatha Freedom Party Women’s Brigade national chairperson Thembi Nzuza wrote in an open letter to IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi before resigning to join the ANC yesterday.

Nzuza and a former IFP mayoral candidate for eThekwini Metro, Dr Gladwin Bheka Ndlela, are among nine leaders from different political parties who announced their defection to the ANC yesterday.

Nzuza and Ndlela, who were the IFP’s mayoral candidates for eThekwini in 2006 and 2000 respectively, were presented as new ANC members at a press conference at the ANC’s provincial offices in Durban.

KZN Premier and ANC provincial chairperson Zweli Mkhize and deputy provincial secretary and MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nomusa Dube signed Nzuza in as a new member of the party.

Another IFP leader who defected to the ANC is Bheki Mngwengwe, former provincial secretary of the IFP Youth Brigade.

Others defectors are Vela Cecil Gumede (IFP), Colin Denis Gaillard (Democratic Alliance), Esther Mary Bawden (IFP), Mary-Jane Mama Ntshangase (Nadeco), Ntokozo Fortunate Ngwenya (Independent Democrats) and Contantina Tsepouras (DA).

Nzuza was recently removed as the IFP caucus leader at eThekwini Metro and was replaced as an Exco member.

The party appointed an acting chairperson, Thembeni Madlopha-Mthethwa, citing Nzuza’s ill-health as the reason for removing her from the position.

In the open letter to Buthelezi, Nzuza said that many party members are ill, but are not subjected to redeployment, and others have even died in public office without being removed.

“I have been attending Exco, ill as I have been, for the sake of the party, but I could not attend party meetings for I know they take too many long hours.

“Well, this will make me and my children always remember you and the party as ruthless and inconsiderate for it is known that we all have financial commitments for our families.…”

ANC Youth League provincial secretary Bheki Mtolo said the ANCYL welcomes Mngwengwe and called on Buthelezi “to voluntarily close shop before it is too embarrassing”.

IFP national organiser Albert Mncwango described the defectors as “individuals who, due to the fact that they could not secure the positions they had hoped for, became bitter and dejected”.

“Their loyalty has always been for sale and they have found buyers in the ANC.

“It is clear that for the right money, position and status they were willing to join any party.”

Nonetheless, Mncwango said, the IFP is disappointed by Nzuza’s decision.

“Nzuza has been struggling with serious personal problems and as a party, we have offered her our full understanding, co-operation and support. “Yet this is the way she repays us?”

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