IFP’s election triumph

By Drum Digital
05 August 2016

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) has increased its slice of the electoral cake in this year’s local government elections.

By Nomzamo Ngcobo 

They now control six municipalities and their share of the vote has increased to over 4% so far.

Some political analysts have suggested that this was due to the failure of the National Freedom Party (NFP) to register for Wednesday’s elections. But IFP National Organiser Albert Mncwango doubts this, because “since the 2011 local government elections, the NFP did not win a single by-election”.

However, he says this is an indication that IFP’s strategy for getting back members who had defected to the NFP is working.

Mncwango also says that the IFP and the NFP are “one people” and that the NFP has no political other than the IFP ideology. He says, “It would make sense if they found it comfortable come back home.”

NFP National Chairperson Bheki Gumbi says it’s obvious that the IFP won the Nongoma municipality because the NFP was not part the elections. But he says his party is sure that their members in Nongoma did not vote. He also says they encouraged their members not to spoil their ballot or abstain, and instead to vote a for party they believe would work for their area.

“The majority voted for the ANC,” he says.

Gumbi says they are not worried that their members who voted for other parties might not come back to the NFP, because “people who believe in the NFP will not leave”.

“We believe in free movement and freedom of association. A person who is our member does so when they still like to be our members and they leave when they are unhappy. We will rise again,” says Gumbi.

As part of their triumph the IFP reclaimed the Nkandla Local Municipality, including the home of President Jacob Zuma. Mncwango says the IFP is humbled by the support that they received from Nkandla, where they won 11 wards. The IFP had lost Nkandla to the African National Congress (ANC) in the 2011 local government elections.

“We are excited that we will continue to provide quality services to the people of Nkandla,” he says.

Mncwango also says they are very satisfied with the overall support of about 5 % that the IFP has received in this year’s local government elections. “This is tremendous, up from 2,5 % in 2011. It is a normal growth,” he says.

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