IFP’s voting dispute waits on NEC to decide

2010-06-15 00:00

THE Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) in KwaZulu-Natal is awaiting a pronouncement from the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) on the validity of its Zululand regional conference elections, following a disruption of the conference in Ulundi at the weekend.

According to media reports, delegates nearly came to blows during a dispute over the method used to elect the IFP regional leadership.

Speaking to The Witness yesterday, IFP KZN secretary Dr Bonginkosi Buthelezi confirmed that the IFP NEC meeting yesterday was held to, among other things, address the disruption of the conference by delegates who questioned the method used to determine the chairperson of the region.

“The NEC is going to discuss the matter today [Monday] and we are awaiting their pronouncement on the Zululand elections. They will come to us so that we can implement what they have decided,” Buthelezi said.

It has been reported that the IFP is divided into two factions, one backing IFP national chairperson Zanele Magwaza-Msibi and the other general secretary the Reverend Musa Zondi to take over leadership after current leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi retires.

It has been reported that, during the weekend conference, staunch Zondi supporter George Dlamini was nominated by three of the five IFP constituencies that constitute the Zululand district. The constituencies that nominated Dlamini were Nongoma, Ulundi and Abaqulusi.

Dlamini’s rival Alsine Hlatshwayo, the eDumbe mayor, who is said to be a Magwaza-Msibi backer, was nominated by eDumbe and Pongolo constituencies.

Consequently, it has been reported, Blessing Gwala, the province’s deputy chairperson of the IFP and Zululand mayor, who presided over the conference, declared Dlamini the new chairperson of the district.

Some delegates accused Gwala of having manipulated the election process by not allowing the ballot system to prevail.

“He knows we also do not want him as the mayor of Zululand and, therefore, to protect his position, he had to manipulate the election in favour of those who will protect him,” one delegate was quoted as saying.

The delay in holding conferen­ces by IFP constituencies and districts has seen its national conference, which was to take place in July last year, postponed several times. It is now scheduled to take place at Ulundi’s Mandleni/Matleng camp on July 23.

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