New VZ party ready for polls

2011-01-26 00:00

THE newly-formed National Freedom Party (NFP), led by former Inkatha Freedom Party chairperson Zanele “VZ” Magwaza-Msibi, is fully registered to compete in the coming local government elections and everything in its registration was “done by the book”.

This was confirmed to The Witness yesterday by Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC) KwaZulu-Natal provincial electoral officer, Mawethu Mosery, following a threat by the IFP that it is considering lodging complaints over the registration of the party.

“The party was registered late last year and everything was done according to the law.

“The intention to register was even published in the Government Gazette and no objections were received during that process. However, the IEC will wait for any submissions challenging the legality of that process,” Mosery said.

Following yesterday’s announcement by Magwaza-Msibi that she is formally establishing the NFP with other expelled IFP leaders, IFP national spokesperson and secretary-general Musa Zondi said the IFP is considering lodging a complaint “as the name of the new party is going to confuse IFP voters”.

Zondi said: “They want to confuse loyal IFP voters and the aim is to carry those voters over to their new party because they don’t have support. The registration of the party cannot be done in secret … If it needs be, we would have to take the IEC to task over this.”

Commenting on Magwaza-Msibi’s threat to take the IFP stronghold of Zululand after the elections Zondi said: “I wish her good luck.”

Sources within the NFP told The Witness that the party was registered with the IEC early in October last year – at a time when tension between Magwaza-Msibi and the IFP leadership was at its height.

Addressing the media after announcing her severing of ties with the IFP, Magwaza-Msibi said: “I have chosen to listen to the people that we find a new political home for all those who have suffered, who were prepared to live by their principles and not be intimidated. … It is also a home for those who are not happy with their own political parties but who believe in the ideals of democracy.”

Magwaza-Msibi vowed to ensure that the views and aspirations of women and youth will take prominence “in our policy formulation”.

She said that come election time the NFP will “collect” municipalities currently held by the IFP “as deep in their consciousness they know they cannot match me”.

She accepted her dismissal from the IFP. “I have helped the IFP grow, but they chose to ill-treat me. Now they have to reap what they sow…”

She said she and her supporters have learned from the mistakes that led to other political division and would not repeat them. “We will not fight for positions but people will be deployed according to their skills.”

The NFP will be officially launched on February 12 after which it will hold a policy conference.

IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi said the formation of the new party “goes beyond my personal sadness, sense of betrayal and disappointment”.

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