Hung municipalities: NFP councillors defy party by voting with IFP

2011-06-06 00:00

SOME National Freedom Party (NFP) councillors, who are defying the party leadership by voting with their former party the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) on some of the 19 hung KwaZulu-Natal municipalities, might soon find themselves out in the cold.

This follows a decision by the NFP leadership, that those councillors who are defying the party by voting with the IFP, should be expelled.

So far councillors from three municipalities — uMlalazi in eShowe, Umtshezi at Estcourt and Imbabazane near Estcourt — have either voted with the IFP or have agreements to vote with the IFP during the inauguration of municipal structures.

NFP spokesperson Zanele Cele, confirmed that yesterday the NFP national working committee (NWC) held a special meeting in Durban to discuss, among other things, these developments which are proving to be a major setback for the NFP.

Last Monday the NFP and the ANC signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in which they agreed to co-govern all 19 municipalities that were left hung after the 2011 elections.

Although news that three uThukela municipalities were planning to defy the NWC filtered through first, uMlalazi councillors were the first to defy the party by propelling to mayorship the IFP’s Stan Larkan, followed by uMtshezi.

Mbabazane had similar plans until their inauguration meeting was cancelled at the eleventh hour on Friday.

The NFP councillors’ defiance has proved to be an embarrassment and one of the first major challenges NFP leader Zanele Magwaza-Msibi had to face. Councillor Mbuzeleni Mkhize from Imbabazane, who insisted that they will vote with the IFP, confirmed that they were summoned to yesterday’s meeting for their stance, which he said was a mandate from the people on the ground.

“It is the people we lead that said they were not prepared for us to co-govern with the ANC. Whatever decision they [leadership] take, we will refer it to the people and we will be guided by the people on what should be our next step,” Mkhize said.

Addressing the ANCYL provincial general council (PGC) at the weekend opening, ANC provincial chairperson Zweli Mkhize committed the ANC to the agreement despite shortcomings in the three municipalities.

Among other municipalities where the agreement was successfully implemented include, uMvoti in Greytown, Ntambanana in eMpangeni, the big five in Hluhluwe, Nongoma in Zululand, Ndumeni in Dundee, Inkandla, Mthonjaneni in Melmoth and many others.

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