NFP leader calls for party unity ahead of 2016 elections

2015-07-09 17:48
Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi (The Witness)

Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi (The Witness)

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Durban - National Freedom Party (NFP) President Zanele KaMagwaza-Msibi on Wednesday called on party leaders to unite and focus on the 2016 local government elections.

KaMagwaza-Msibi, who is also the deputy science and technology minister, has been on sick leave since last November.

In the statement, she said her party leaders had been at each other's throats. 

"While I don't want to say much about the internal matters that have taken place, I am deeply concerned the leadership battle has gone the legal route.

Nine suspended NFP leaders have taken the leadership battle to court.

“I'm, therefore, making this clarion call to NFP leadership to put aside whatever differences they might have and focus on uniting the party so we can campaign vigorously for the forthcoming local government elections," KaMagwaza-Msibi said.

“And unity is key in our future going forward. In the previous elections, we made an indelible mark in the political spectrum of South Africa and we need to consolidate that, but we can only do it if we work together as a team.”

She also warned leaders that sacking councillors caused irreparable damage to the party.

“Let's stop expelling councillors and members, because we need them more than they need us. These are our foot soldiers who should be canvassing and lobbying for new membership,” she said.

She said those who had been removed while she was away “must return” so any differences could be properly addressed.

 

KaMagwaza-Msibi promised to return soon, but did not specify when.

 

"I promise to return soon and serve you like I have done my entire life," she added.

 

News24 reported earlier that the 53-year-old leader was a no-show at the recent Mkhambathini regional conference that reportedly saw Msawenkosi Maphumulo elected NFP chairperson for the uMgungundlovu District.

“The deputy minister is on sick leave and therefore no-one can act on her behalf, unless President [Jacob Zuma] feels there's a need for someone to do so.

“You must remember, deputy ministers are not part of the executives, so much so that even when the minister is away, the deputy minister cannot act in the position. Instead, another minister can be appointed to act until the minister returns," the government said at the time.

KaMagwaza-Msibi formed the party after leaving the IFP just before the 2011 local government elections. She has been on sick leave since November 2014 after suffering a suspected stroke.

Read more on:    nfp  |  zanele kamagwaza-msibi  |  durban  |  politics  |  local government elections

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