NFP members protest against the IEC's decision to disqualify it after the party failed to pay its deposit. (Amanda Khoza, News24)
Durban – The National Freedom Party has officially been
disqualified from contesting the 2016 local government elections, an official
said on Monday.
NFP spokesperson Sabelo Sigudu said the party’s attorneys
informed them on Saturday that they had lost their case in the Electoral Court.
The party had tried to challenge the Electoral Commission of
SA's (IEC) decision to disqualify it after it failed to pay its registration
fee by the June 2 deadline.
"We are going to explore every possible option,
including approaching the Constitutional Court on the matter, because millions
of people are waiting to vote for the NFP," said Sigudu.
He said the party’s national working committee was expected
to meet on Monday to discuss its next move.
Sigudu said he believed the party’s secretary general,
Nhlanhla Khubisa, and chairperson Maliyakhe Shelembe had esigned on Saturday
because they already knew the outcome of the court case.
- Elections Map: Previous NFP results
Deputy chairperson Sicelo Mabika and treasurer Xolani Ndlovu
were suspended pending an investigation into the fiasco.
Party president Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi accepted their
It emerged on Tuesday last week that the party’s national
executive committee - led by Shelembe, Khubisa, and Ndlovu - were responsible
for making the R400 000 payment. Ndlovu apparently sent the IEC a cheque, which
bounced. He allegedly paid the money after the deadline.
"Because Khubisa and Shelembe are the co-ordinators,
they were informed about the court’s decision first. They knew on Saturday that
the court had ruled against us. This is direct sabotage and the party is
investigating internally, why they did this or who made them do this,” said
'She is not doing well at all'
He said KaMagwaza-Msibi, who suffered a stroke in November
2014, was shattered by the news.
"She is not okay, she did not attend the national
working committee on Saturday. She is not doing well at all," he said.
In an interview with eNCA on Monday morning, the IEC said
the NFP would not be included on the ballot papers which were expected to be
printed on Tuesday.
In 2009, the IEC disqualified the Western Cape ANC from
taking part in by-elections after the party failed to pay its deposit.
In 2011, the IFP was disqualified from contesting elections
in the Umzumbe municipality on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast. It had failed to
submit its candidate list to the IEC by the closing date.
South Africans were first introduced to the NFP's
KaMagwaza-Msibi, a former school principal and mayor in Zululand, in 2011.
KaMagwaza-Msibi, who is also deputy science and technology
minister, left the Inkatha Freedom Party just before the 2011 local government
elections. Her party formed a coalition with the ANC after there were 19 hung
municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal.
Since its formation, the NFP had been plagued by internal
battles for positions, with leaders taking each other to court.- Find everything you need to know about the 2016 Local Government Elections at our News24 Elections site, including the latest news and detailed, interactive maps for how South Africa has voted over the past 3 elections, or download the app for iOS and Android.