IFP: hearing moved again

2010-07-16 00:00

AFTER a drama that lasted almost the whole day yesterday, the high court in Durban postponed the hearing of an application for an interdict brought by a faction of the Inkatha Freedom Party against the party, its leader, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, and other IFP leaders.

Last week, IFP leaders from its eight districts took Buthelezi, the IFP and its top leaders to court, seeking to order the party not to postpone elections at its coming conference and to ensure that the leadership elections are conducted and observed by independent institutes, the Institute for Democracy in South Africa and the Electoral Institute for the Sustainability of Democracy in Africa.

The IFP is opposing the granting of the interdict on the grounds that its basis is unfounded and because it doubts the legitimacy of the applicants’ action.

During the hearing before Justice Leona Theron yesterday morning, the proceedings had to be postponed after IFP counsel advocate Max du Plessis objected that the papers were served on them very late on Wednesday afternoon.

After both parties had approached chambers, the hearing was postponed to 2 pm yesterday.

The meeting between both parties at the chambers continued until after 2 pm.

At about 3.30 pm both parties emerged and announced that the hearing had been postponed to 11 am today.

The drama started last Thursday when the deputy secretary of the dissolved IFP district in Amajuba, Sbusiso Brian Mbusi Lukhele, and seven other leaders from different districts filed a court application to force the IFP not to postpone its elective conference, whioch is due to be held in Ulundi from July 23 to 25.

Mzonjani Zulu, who is one of the eight applicants, later told a press briefing that the reason for the postponement is that the judge assigned to preside over the hearing was not available.

When the matter went before court for the first time last Friday, Justice Achmat Jappie presided over the case and postponed it to yesterday.

Yesterday Jappie was not available, and The Witness reliably learnt that he is not going to be in court at least for a month.

One faction of the IFP is backing its national chairperson, Zanele Magwaza-Msibi, and another supports its general secretary, the Reverend Musa Zondi, to take over leadership after Buthelezi’s retirement.


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