NFP SG Professor Nhlanhla Khubisa and national chairperson Maliyakhe Shelembe (Amanda Khoza, News24)
Durban – On Monday National Freedom Party secretary general Nhlanhla Khubisa and national chairperson Maliyakhe Shelembe claimed that Saturday's national working committee [NWC] meeting was unconstitutional.
The pair said they were not informed about the urgent NWC meeting which was called by the party's president, Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi, but News24 has seen a letter addressed to the two leaders last Thursday, informing them about the meeting.
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KaMagwaza-Msibi called the meeting after the party was disqualified from participating in the 2016 local government elections for failing to pay the registration fee by the June 2 deadline. The party had challenged the Electoral Commission of South Africa's [IEC] decision to disqualify it and lost its case at the Electoral Court on Saturday.
During a press briefing called the by NFP's Youth Movement on Monday Khubisa and Shelembe, who had both resigned from their positions but had not left the party, announced that they had withdrawn their resignations.
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Khubisa said he was flabbergasted when he heard about a NWC meeting on Saturday.
He said the meeting was unconstitutional because to convene a NWC or a national executive committee (NEC) meeting, the president or the deputy president needs to consult the chairperson, and that was not done.
"I was surprised and flabbergasted that a meeting was convened in that manner, we were informed through hearsay that there was a meeting and someone called me to inform me that the meeting was not meeting a quorum [the minimum number of members present to make a meeting valid]."
Shelembe said he also did not know about the meeting and that he could not have chaired a meeting he had not been briefed about.
'Embarrassing state of affairs'
"I was disturbed to hear that the meeting was called by the NWC… I felt irritated that people can just regroup themselves and claim that they are forming a legitimate meeting."
Shelembe said he was told that the meeting was called because kaMagwaza-Msibi intended to suspend him and other colleagues who were involved in the IEC blunder, but he was not sure.
The letter addressed to the leaders reads: "The NWC, which I will attend, should come up with concrete plans and decisions that will ensure that such [an] embarrassing state of affairs never occurs again.
"Our party has become a laughing stock and those responsible for bringing the NFP into disrepute should be dealt with accordingly and decisively.
"I therefore instruct you to convene an urgent NWC meeting so that we can deal with all the issues that are of concern to our members and the status of our party in general."
KaMagwaza-Msibi requested that the meeting be held at Durban's Tropicana Hotel at 10:00 on Saturday. The meeting took place on Saturday without Khubisa and Shelembe.
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