IFP rebels map way foward

2010-12-09 00:00

THE possibility of establishing a new political party parallel to the Inkatha Freedom Party was raised in a closed-door meeting held by the supporters of the party’s national chairperson, Zanele Magwaza-Msibi, yesterday but they resolved to shelve the idea until after the high court in Pietermaritzburg rules in a dispute between Magwaza-Msibi and the IFP.

Hundreds of Magwaza-Msibi backers — existing members of the IFP and those who were recently expelled — gathered at Mpushini Hall in Vulindlela yesterday to map the way forward following a delay in the hearing of Magwaza-Msibi’s legal challenge of the legitimacy of the current IFP leadership.

She has also applied for an order requiring the party to hold an elective conference with immediate effect and to prevent her from being hauled before a disciplinary committee.

The list of attendees at yesterday’s gathering reads like a who’s who of the expelled leaders, and Magwaza-Msibi’s backers openly declared their support.

During the discussion about the way forward, most of them agreed it is time for Magwaza-Msibi’s supporters to establish their own party parallel to the IFP as “it is clear that the current illegitimate leadership are out to get us”.

Among the prominent IFP leaders who were at the conference were eThekwini councillor and KwaMashu hostel IFP leader Bhungu Gwala, eThekwini district secretary Devas Mncwabe, expelled former MPL Wiseman Mcoyi, and the expelled uMtshezi and Okhahlamba mayors, Maliyakhe Shelembe and Vikizitha Mlotshwa.

The chief induna of amabutho (warriors) in the eThekwini region, Muzi Nyandeni, and representatives of the youth, students and women’s wings of the party were also present.

Almost all IFP districts were represented by either constituency chairpersons or secretaries and councillors.

They voiced dissatisfaction about the delay in the hearing and threatened to embark on a rolling mass action if a ruling was not announced by the end of next week, “as the expulsions of our leaders continue unabated while we are waiting for the outcome”.

KZN Deputy Judge President Chimanlal Narotam Patel reserved judgment on the matter after the case was argued in high court on November 12.

Among the resolutions taken at the meeting, one was to write a letter to Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini to request him to intervene in what was described as the “misuse” of Zulu amabutho to break community gatherings following a shooting during a meeting at eNseleni near Empangeni on Sunday. Magwaza-Msibi was to have addressed the meeting.

The delegates were welcomed by six IFP councillors from the uMgungundlovu district , who also expressed support for change and for Magwaza-Msibi to take over the presidency from Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

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