Magwaza allies hit out at ‘fat cats’

2010-11-13 00:00

SELF-PROTECTION units (SPUs) aligned with the Inkatha Freedom Party have vowed to forcefully occupy municipal offices if the IFP continues with its campaign to expel mayors and councillors who support the party’s national chairperson, Zanele Magwaza-Msibi.

This threat was issued by the SPUs’ national chairperson, Bheki Dlamini, when he addressed thousands of Magwaza-Msibi supporters at Market Square during yesterday’s hearing involving IFP leaders in the high court in Pietermaritzburg.

Since the beginning of the year the IFP has expelled a number of mayors, councillors and leaders who are deemed to be supporters of Magwaza-Msibi. This came after Magwaza-Msibi and IFP general-secretary Musa Zondi became involved in a struggle over who should lead the IFP when Mangosuthu Buthelezi retires.

Several SPUs acted as marshals as they encircled the venue where Magwaza-Msibi’s supporters had gathered. The SPUs were recently banned from IFP offices and gatherings of the IFP leadership, allegedly for publicly declaring their support for embattled Magwaza-Msibi

Said Dlamini, “They [the IFP leadership] said they have now expelled us from the party. Who are they to expel us? No one will ever expel us from the IFP. We protected these leaders when the situation was really bad for them, but now that they are ‘fat-cats’ they no longer want us…

“As from this coming Monday, no IFP councillor or mayor is going to be expelled. If they dare do that, we will go and occupy municipality offices where that took place. They have touched a wrong button now by alienating us. They are forgetting that we were military trained. We say there will be no expulsion of people within the IFP…”

Also outside the court, members of the SA Police Force who were closely monitored by their Police Commissioner General Bheki Cele and other senior SAPF officers, had their hands full separating the two IFP factions.

Popular maskandi music groups who were supporting Magwaza-Msibi were performing as the proceedings continued inside the court.

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