NFP shun council duty over Ulundi dog-naming saga

2014-06-26 00:00

THE dog-naming saga in Ulundi has escalated after National Freedom Party (NFP) members in the council sent a letter to council speaker and Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) member Jabulani Mlambo disassociating themselves from council activities.

Yesterday, the 13 NFP Exco members did not show up at the full council meeting sitting. NFP caucus chair Sfiso Mdluli said they saw no point in “mixing with people while we are regarded as dogs”. On Monday, The Witness reported that an alleged IFP member Bhazabhaza Ntshalintshali named his dogs Zanele (in reference to NFP leader kaMagwaza-Msibi) and Senzo (in reference to party ward 5 PR councillor).

A picture depicting Nsthalintshali with his dog named Zanele wearing an NFP T-shirt was circulated on Friday.

“Leaders of the IFP were approached to resolve the matter as we we view it as an insult not only to our leader and the councillor, but to the party in general,” said Mdluli yesterday. “By disassociating ourselves with council activities we are displaying our displeasure to the IFPs failure to resolve the matter.

“They [IFP] and others can continue with the day-to-day council activities, we won’t be part of that,” Mdluli added.

The Ulundi council is made up of 28 IFP, 13 NFP and six ANC councillors.

Speaker Jabulani Mlambo confirmed receiving the letter from the NFP councillors yesterday morning. “They say they won’t be part of council because of political matters,” he said.

“I don’t understand how they expect council to be involved in a political matter. This should be handled by political party leaders. We are in council to deal with community issues so what they are doing translates as giving the middle finger to the tasks they were elected to perform for their respective communities and constituencies.”

Mlambo said he would consult with Mdluli and explain to him the dangers of bringing party politics to council.

Naming dogs after political leaders is not new in South African politics. In the Beckett and Another v Buthelezi case heard at the Appellate Division of the ­Supreme Court in 1990, the IFP leader was a respondent. The matter was about an assault on a Sunday Tribune journalist who had written a story about a farmer in the then Natal who had named his dog “Gatsha” and had dressed it up with an Inkatha tie and beret.

IFP leader Blessed Gwala said the matter of dog-naming was still in the hands of the Ulundi constituency for investigation.

Corporate Governance and Traditional Affairs spokesperson Lennox Mabaso could not be reached for comment. A text message was left on his cellphone but he had not responded by the time going to press.

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