Five KZN councillors jump ship to join rival NFP

2012-01-04 00:00

FIVE KwaZulu-Natal councillors — three from Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and two Independents — as well as a senior ANC Youth league leader in KZN, were yesterday paraded as new National Freedom Party (NFP) members.

Former IFP councillors Ntokozo Qwabe and Khulekani Dladla from Nongoma Municipality in Zululand, as well as Mbongiseni Ndlovu from Imbabazane Municipality near Estcourt, confirmed at a press conference in Durban yesterday that they had left the IFP to join its arch-rival party, the NFP.

Secretary of the ANCYL in the Imbabazane sub-region and uThukela regional executive committee (REC) member Thabani Hadebe was also introduced as a new NFP member.

Two independent councillors from uMhlathuze Municipality in the Richards Bay-Empangeni area, King Nsibande and Sipho Kweyama, were also introduced, in absentia, by NFP national chairperson and uThukela deputy mayor Maliyakhe Shelembe as the NFP’s new-year acquisitions.

Ndlovu said he had decided to leave the IFP because its leadership had been resisting transformation “and because its POC (political oversight committee) was taking decisions without considering the views of the people on the ground” on crucial matters like deploying or removing leaders from certain positions.

“I joined the NFP also because it’s a young, vibrant party that puts its members’ interests first. It’s a new hope for democracy in South Africa,” Ndlovu said.

Ndlovu works as a development facilitator within the uThukela district municipality after resigning as an IFP councillor at Imbabazane.

A number of former ANC members from uThukela region were also introduced as new NFP members and presented with party T-shirts at the press conference.

Welcoming the new members, NFP secretary-general Professor Nhlanhla Khubisa said the fact that the three councillors were leaving the IFP to join the NFP before the end of the first year since their election into office indicated that the IFP was quickly diminishing while the NFP was prospering.

Khubisa said the NFP boasted a membership of over 80 000 and 800 branches across eight provinces in the country.

“We are a party with a bright future. South Africa needs us and that is an opportunity we do not want to take for granted … We are passionate about a free and democratic South Africa,” he said.

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