IFP expels 13 of its 16 Okhahlamba councillors

2010-12-07 00:00

THE Inkatha Freedom Party continued its expulsion spree as it announced the expulsion of 13 councillors from the Okhahlamba Municipality in the midlands yesterday.

In a statement the IFP said its national council, which met at the weekend in Ulundi, decided to expel 13 of its 16 councillors in the Okhahlamba Municipality for contravening the party’s constitution.

Among those expelled is the Okhahlamba mayor, Vikizitha Mlotshwa.

The councillors were hauled before a disciplinary hearing for allegedly failing to carry out a national council order to vote Mlotshwa out as the mayor.

The 13 councillors were expelled in their absence following their failure to attend the hearing as requested by the national council.

Three councillors from the municipality, B.R. Hlongwane, J.N. Shabalala and T.M. Masengeni, attended the disciplinary hearing and pleaded guilty to the charges.

They were found guilty, but were cautioned and discharged “because they demonstrated loyalty to the national council, risking threats to their lives” to attend the hearing, the statement said.

“All of these councillors who failed to honour the summons by the national council and, in doing so, forfeited an opportunity to get a fair hearing [were found] guilty as charged and [it was] decided to impose the sanction of expulsion from the party in terms of section 10.22(g) of the IFP constitution,” the statement read.

The expulsion means that the ANC, which has nine councillors in the municipality, is now going to be in control of the council as the Democratic Alliance has only one councillor.

Mlotshwa said he was not aware of the expulsion and denied that the councillors were facing a disciplinary hearing.

“We were only asked to come before the national council and were never told we were being charged. The move to expel councillors means that the IFP leadership is delivering the municipality to the ANC on a plate. I will comment further after receiving the official notification,” Mlotshwa said.

Since the start of the expulsion spree, the IFP has kicked out several leaders who are suspected of being supporters of IFP national chairperson Zanele Magwaza-Msibi.

Magwaza-Msibi and her backers are involved in a leadership battle with a faction said to be led by IFP president Mangosuthu Buthelezi and IFP secretary-general Musa Zondi.




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