Gwala says IFP will make a comeback

2014-05-29 00:00

RE-ELECTED IFP KZN legislature caucus leader and national chairperson Blessed Gwala yesterday was adamant that his party would make a comeback and reclaim its former official opposition status.

“We are rebuilding from where we are and we are doing so as a collective,” Gwala said.

He made the statements in the wake of his re-election to serve another term as the leader of the IFP caucus in the legislature.

The veteran Gwala was re-elected to the post ahead of deputy president Mzamo Buthelezi, who only joined the legislative body last year after some leaders resigned and left the IFP.

Gwala downplayed his re-election over Buthelezi, saying it was up to their party to decide where its leaders should serve. He also said he was no stranger to the position which he had held until the end of the last term.

“I will do it in the same way even if we are reduced to nine members,” he said. “We are going to focus on issues of service delivery and hold the ruling party accountable in the next five years. We are faced with corruption that is taking place under their watch,” Gwala added.

The party lost official opposition status to the DA when its parliamentary seats in the KZN legislature were reduced from 18 to nine in the May 7 elections.

He said the IFP had expected to lose some parliamentary seats considering its breakaway party, the NFP, was contesting the elections.

However, Gwala said the turn of events was a temporary setback the party would reverse.

He said scores of former members who had deserted the party were coming back in droves and that the change in the fortunes for the party would be seen when it contests by-elections.

Whereas Premier Senzo Mchunu has named his MECs, Gwala has yet to announce his shadow cabinet.

Gwala said the party was still waiting for the legislature to allocate public representatives to portfolio committees. “We are waiting for the office of the speaker to say which committees the members are to serve on. We are unable to say who is in our shadow cabinet until that is done.”

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