IFP woos NFP for coalition

2011-05-25 00:00

THE Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) has formally approached its breakaway rival, the National Freedom Party (NFP), to establish coalition governments in more than a dozen hung municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal.

This overture comes despite the initial disapproval of IFP president, Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

The Witness learnt yesterday that the IFP made a formal approach to the NFP yesterday morning after its weekly national executive committee meeting.

This development follows a statement by the NFP’s national working committee (NWC) — made at its meeting at eDumbe in Paulpietersburg on Sunday — that the NFP would only consider entering into a coalition with the IFP when its leadership formally apologises and publicly withdraws its statements that the NFP is an ANC project.

The Witness was told by a senior IFP leader that Buthelezi was initially opposed to any co-operation involving the NFP.

Buthelezi had had to be convinced by senior IFP leaders to agree to the approach being made.

IFP national treasurer and MP Narend Singh is said to be the leader of the IFP delegation that will negotiate with the NFP.

Singh’s courting of the NFP comes hard on the heels of a meeting between an NFP and ANC delegation that took place on Monday.

ANC provincial spokesperson Makhosi Khoza could not confirm that a meeting with the NFP took place on Monday.

“As the spokesperson I received no brief to comment on whether the meeting took place or not and whether there are any planned follow-up meetings to discuss the coalition with the NFP in the near future.”

IFP national spokesperson Reverend Musa Zondi, asked to confirm whether the IFP has approached the NFP and whether it is prepared to apologise and publicly withdraw its statement that the NFP is an ANC creation, said: “My comment is no comment.”

NFP national organiser Bonga Nzuza confirmed that ANC and IFP delegations met on Monday, but could not confirm that the IFP had also made an approach.

“The NWC of the NFP is going to hold a meeting tonight to get the report-back from our delegation on the ANC-NFP meeting.

“At the moment I don’t have details on what was discussed at that meeting.

“The NWC will then decide on the way forward after getting the report-back,” Nzuza said.

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