‘Back off, or pay price’

2010-01-29 00:00

MAYORS and councillors belonging to the Inkatha Freedom Party have been told by the party’s senior leadership to toe the line or face repercussions.

In a statement issued yesterday, the party issued a stern warning to all its mayors and councillors to keep out of the “succession debate” which the party views as an internal matter to be dealt with during its upcoming Annual General Conference.

“Any IFP councillor or mayor found to be participating in activities that may bring the party into disrepute will see decisive steps taken against him or her by the relevant party structures,” said IFP national organiser and acting chairman of the political oversight committee (POC) Albert Mncwango.

The Witness understands that the warning follows threats of resignations by certain IFP mayors and councillors, following persistent rumours that Zululand District Mayor, Zanele KaMagwaza-Msibi, who is also the party chairwoman, will be redeployed to the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature.

According to the rumour, a decision was taken by the party’s national executive committee (NEC) that KaMagwaza-Msibi be moved to the legislature to fill the vacant position left after the death of inkosi Nyanga Ngubane, who was the IFP’s member of the legislature. Support has mounted for KaMagwaza-Msibi since she was endorsed by a faction of the party’s youth to take over from IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi, after the party failed to reclaim the province in the April elections last year.

Sources, who spoke to The Witness on condition of anonymity, said that some mayors and councillors have threatened to resign if KaMagwaza-Msibi is moved to the legislature.

Ilanga newspaper reported yesterday that some party members have lashed out, saying that they will not be led by a woman. The newspaper reported that some of the leaders, placed in positions by Buthelezi, have turned their backs on him.

In a media statement, Mncwango, speaking on behalf of the NEC and POC, said: “The IFP will not hesitate to apply those sections of the party constitution that deal with internal party discipline.”

He said the IFP has made it known that KaMagwaza-Msibi’s redeployment from the mayorship has never been discussed in any decision-making structure of the party.



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