uThukela NFP councillors defy VZ and vote for IFP

2011-06-04 00:00

NATIONAL Freedom Party councillors in the uThukela district are openly defying their leader, Zanele “VZ” Magwaza-Msibi, by aligning themselves with their former political party, the Inkatha Freedom Party.

On Thursday NFP councillors in Umtshezi in Estcourt voted with the IFP to elect office-bearers during their inaugural meeting, which was eventually postponed by newly elected speaker Cesar Nunes owing to suspicions of electoral fraud.

Earlier the NFP-IFP candidate, Bhekithemba Dlamini, won the mayorship, although the Democratic Alliance candidate said he had abstained from voting.

The DA has a deciding vote in the 17-seat municipality as the ANC and the NFP-IFP alliance each have eight votes.

In nearby Imbabazane NFP councillors were openly siding with the IFP and the DA to outvote the ANC, which got the majority of seats in the municipality, but failed to secure an absolute majority. In the 25-seats council the ANC received 12 seats, the NFP seven, the IFP five and the DA one.

This revolt by the uThukela NFP councillors comes a day after Umlalazi NFP councillors elected an IFP mayor and speaker.

At Imbabazane yesterday NFP councillor Mbuzeleni Mkhize said the NFP councillors in that municipality decided to co-govern with the IFP and DA “after a mandate received from the people”.

Imbabazane municipal manager Moses Ndlela said the inauguration meeting was postponed on the instruction of the Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department (Cogta) after it was found that the list of councillors that was gazetted on May 31 had been altered without the IEC capturing those changes as required.

Both the NFP and the IFP described the delay of the inauguration of the council “as a delaying tactic by Cogta to give the NFP national leadership a breathing space” as it seemed to have been caught on the wrong foot by the councillors’ internal revolt during the inauguration and the demands of the NFP supporters outside, who carried placards supporting an alliance with the IFP.

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