Defection to ANC means elections

2013-08-12 00:00

BY-ELECTIONS are on the cards in the Nongoma Municipality after three Inkatha Freedom Party councillors were among the 700 people who joined the ANC yesterday.

The ANC’s new recruits were named as former Ward 10 councillor Thami Nyembe, former Ward 11 councillor Nhlanhla Mthembu and former Ward 5 councillor Sithembiso Gumbi.

IFP deputy national chairperson Albert Mncwango said the departure of the former members was not a loss and did not come as a surprise.

“Since its inception in 1975, the IFP has suffered many instances of deceit and betrayal, but we are still here. And we are stronger than ever,” Mncwango said.

He said the former councillors who left the IFP for the ANC joined a long list of individuals who placed their personal interests ahead of the IFP’s collective interest and wellbeing.

“We are reminded of the antics of power-hungry individuals such as Mr Ziba Jiyane and Mrs Magwaza-Msibi who now find themselves in the political wilderness.

“We have no doubt that these three ward councillors will realise the error of their ways and return to the IFP in due course,” he said.

Nyembe was the constituency chairperson in Nongoma, Mthembu was his secretary and Gumbi an additional member.

Also named as new recruits was former IFP Youth Brigade chairperson in Nongoma Sithembiso Mdiniso and former NFP Ward 11 candidate Muzi Ndwandwe.

The resignation of the three councillors from IFP to join the ANC means that by-elections will be held in the Nongoma Municipality, which is controlled by the ANC and NFP through a coalition.

Speaking to The Witness, Nyembe said he quit the IFP after considering the future of and democracy within the IFP, but would not elaborate.

He also said he joined the ANC because it was the party that was delivering services, which listened to the needs of the people.

In a statement, the ANC said Nongoma, once a stronghold of the IFP, would never be the same again.

“The ANC is impressed with the levels of political maturity in Nongoma today. We remember vividly that when the ANC campaigned in Nongoma during past elections, our members were attacked by people who felt threatened by our presence in their backyards,” the ANC said.

The statement said the party hoped that the turn of events would make it easier to work with local communities to ensure the delivery of services.

• mayibongwe.maqhina

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