The IFP went back to the drawing board - analyst on IFP's improved performance in KZN

2016-08-04 22:33
Imbali Unit 3 resident Ricardo Ngubo takes a selfie with IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi, who was on the campaign trail at Edendale Mall.  ~ Ian Carbutt , The Witness

Durban – The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) went back to the drawing board to examine where it had gone wrong and corrected it. This is what a political analyst has attributed the party's success in KwaZulu-Natal during the local government elections 2016 to.

Speaking on the sidelines of the counting of votes at the Durban ICC, University of KwaZulu-Natal political science lecturer Zakhele Ndlovu said he was not surprised by the IFP's performance.

By 17:00, the ANC was leading and the IFP looked set to be the official opposition in the province.

Most of the areas which were previously governed by the National Freedom Party (NFP) in northern KZN had been taken by the party, and this could possibly because of the NFP's blunder which cost it the elections. The NFP missed the payment deadline with the IEC, a costly mistake which prevented them from contesting the election.

Ndlovu said back in 2011, the IFP performed dismally, understandably because a chunk of its supporters followed Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi when she broke away from the party and formed the NFP.

He said in the 2014 elections the party tried to regain some lost ground and was expected to become the official opposition, but the DA surprisingly came second and became the official opposition in the province.

NFP's 'huge mistake'

The NFP was fourth, and according to Ndlovu, this signalled the beginning of the NFP's misfortunes.

"This time round the IFP ran a very good campaign. They went back to the drawing board, [Prince Mangosuthu] Buthelezi has been around for a very long time and he is a seasoned politician.

"I think he and his advisers tried to figure out what they did wrong and what they needed to do to recover the losses that they suffered in 2011."

Ndlovu said the IFP would have done well even if the NFP had participated in the elections.

Prior to the election, Ndlovu had predicted that the IFP would make a big comeback, perform better and that the NFP would perform dismally at the polls. 

"In 2014, Buthelezi tried to push home the message that the NFP was an ANC project and I think the biggest mistake the NFP made was to let Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi leave Zululand as mayor to become the deputy minister. That was a huge mistake because in the eyes of the people, it fuelled what Buthelezi had been saying all along because it appeared as though she was being rewarded for what she did."

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