New boss seeks unity

2019-07-02 16:18
Newly-elected IFP provincial leader Thamsanqa Ntuli will not be resigning as mayor of Nkandla.

Newly-elected IFP provincial leader Thamsanqa Ntuli will not be resigning as mayor of Nkandla.

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Newly-elected IFP provincial leader Thamsanqa Ntuli said on Monday his first order of business was to unite the organisation so that it could become a stronger voice of the people of KwaZulu-Natal. 

The mayor of Nkandla told The Witness it was not true that the party’s founder and president, Prince Mango­suthu Buthelezi, had nominated him for the position during the weekend’s highly-contested elective conference in Ulundi.

“He mentioned my name during the part of his speech about how the IFP needed strong leaders who would work tirelessly to ensure that the voices of the youth and marginalised were heard. That was not an attempt to influence the delegates.

“He did not say people must vote for me, the election followed a democratic process. I was nominated by other delegates and they’d come to me before the conference wanting to know if I’d be okay with it,” said Ntuli.

Buthelezi’s alleged attempt to influence the conference has been criticised by those who reportedly favoured the other contender for the provincial chairmanship, Mbangiseni Yengwa. Yengwa had served as the IFP’s provincial leader since the last elective conference in 2011.

Apparently Buthelezi had been throwing Ntuli’s name around as the next provincial leader since the party started preparing for the conference.

Insiders within the IFP said this was an elder statesman’s attempt to unite the factions that were emerging but others viewed it as an attempt to impose his preferred candidate instead of letting delegates make up their own minds.

On Monday Times Live reported that disgruntled members from the Amajuba constituency, in Newcastle, had lodged a complaint with the IFP’s top leadership as they wanted a re-run of the conference over the alleged breach of the party’s constitution.

Speaking to The Witness, Ntuli said he was overwhelmed by the confidence bestowed on him by the hundreds of delegates who attended the conference.

He said there were still those with differing views from party’s leadership, but he was confident any differences would be resolved amicably.

“I will not be resigning from my job as the mayor because the work of the IFP is not a full-time responsibility, but I will be going to the head office [in Durban] on a regular basis for organisational duties,” he said.

He said as part of the new provincial executive mandate, the conference told them they wanted all the IFP-led municipalities to get clean audits by 2020/21.

He said even where they were not governing, the delegates instructed them to ensure that the voices of the communities they represented were heard.

Ntuli, who spent 20 years of his life as a teacher, said the “open secret” to his success was his passion for working with people.

He said even as a mayor he still believed that leaders had to go to where the people are so that they would not be far from the communities’ needs.

“I’ve always told myself that I’m not too important to go out to communities and talk to them or for them to come to me.

“People must not only see you when it’s time for electioneering.”

Attempts to get comment from the IFP spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa were unsuccessful.

Other IFP provincial executive members:

• Deputy chairperson: Simo Mfayela

• Secretary: Xolani Dube

• Deputy secretary: Nonkululeko Ndlela

• Treasurer: Qhina Mkhwanazi

• Deputy treasurer: Mabilabila Kunene

• Publicity secretary: Sifundo Masimula

• Deputy publicity secretary: Pat Madlopha

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  ifp
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