Kingmakers NFP to hold coalition talks with ANC

2011-05-23 00:00

THE newly-crowned kingmakers of the 2011 local government elections in KwaZulu-Natal, the National Freedom Party, will consider co-operating with the Inkatha Freedom Party on hung municipalities, but only if the IFP apologises and publicly withdraws its accusations that the NFP is an ANC-funded party.

NFP leader Zanele Magwaza-Msibi said this while addressing the media at her party’s victory celebration in Paulpietersburg (­eDumbe), which is the only municipality where the NFP registered a landslide victory during last week’s local government elections.

Magwaza-Msibi told the media that before the end of this week the NFP will hold a meeting with the leadership of the ANC in response to the ruling party’s request to partner with it in establishing coalition governments in hung municipalities in the province.

During last week’s elections more than a dozen KZN municipalities were left without an outright majority by any one party, which means that for office-bearers to be appointed parties that secured seats in those municipalities must form a coalition.

The NFP has a key role in the establishment of coalition governments as its vote is decisive in determining who will lead those municipalities.

KZN’s main political parties, the ANC and the IFP, were reportedly involved in a scramble for the NFP’s vote to be able to run the hung municipalities.

Magwaza-Msibi denied that the IFP had formally approached her party, but confirmed that the ANC had.

“Earlier this morning we convened the national working committee meeting to deliberate on the ANC’s request,” said Magwaza-Msibi.

“Among the sentiments raised at the meeting was that for the sake of municipalities to be able to function, we have to meet with any party that approaches us with a proposal and decide who to partner with.

“We have no option but to decide whom to work with … Since the ANC had made their proposal, we decided to establish a delegation of five people to negotiate with them,’’ Magwaza-Msibi said.

Asked whether the NFP will entertain a similar request from the IFP, Magwaza-Msibi said the NFP will have no problem in engaging with the IFP on the matter, “provided that the IFP leadership publicly withdraw its false allegations and the propaganda that it spread saying the NFP was the project of the ANC”.

“They must also publicly withdraw all the insults directed at me and the NFP …

“They will have to accept that the NFP is an autonomous political party just like any other party. Should we enter into any coalition we would be doing that to ensure that our people — the poorest of the poor — do benefit.’’

The IFP’s provincial secretary, Bonginkosi Buthelezi, could not confirm whether the IFP had approached the NFP to establish any coalition and said the matter is still being discussed by the party’s national executive committee.

The national spokesperson for the IFP, Musa Zondi, and his deputy, Thulasizwe Buthelezi, were not available for comment yesterday.


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