The end of the road for NFP

2016-07-06 10:30
(News24)

(News24)

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Pietermaritzburg - It is the end of the road for the NFP, political analysts have said.

Since news broke last week that the party had failed to honour the IEC’s registration fee deadline, and had therefore been disqualified from participating in the August 3 election, there has been turmoil in the party.

Party general secretary Nhlanhla Khubisa and national chairperson Maliyakhe Shelembe had since resigned but later withdrew their resignations.

National treasurer Xolani Dlamini and deputy chairperson Sicelo Mabika remain suspended.

UKZN political analyst and CEO of the Mzala Nxumalo Centre, Bheki Mngomezulu, said the party would not recover from this setback.

“There is no future for the NFP. There is so much division in the party. [NFP president] Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi’s return after her illness has divided the party further.

“It is clear that while she was away, there were people who positioned themselves for her job, thinking that she was not coming back.

“When she came back, there are those who aligned themselves with her while others aligned themselves with those who had positioned themselves for her job,” he said.

Mngomezulu said the non-payment of the registration fee was “clear, deliberate sabotage” by some in the party.

He said the bulk of the party’s supporters would return to the IFP.

“Most of them have had dual membership and did not know whether they belonged to the NFP or IFP.

“Some of them will go to the ANC. We all know that the NFP is running in coalition with the ANC in 19 municipalities in the province,” he said.

Political analyst Xolani Dube, of the Xubera Institute, said kaMagwaza-Msibi had nobody to blame but herself for the “death” of the party.

“She is sick. She was supposed to hand over power to her colleagues if she trusted them, because the issue here is power,” he said.

Dube said the NFP was not destined for any greater future in South African politics in the first place.

“It was a party that was created to spite a leader of another political party. I long predicted its death.”

He pointed to the interview he did with The Witness earlier this year, where he said the party would not do well in the upcoming local government elections.

Dube said he expected the bulk of NFP supporters to join the ANC.

“If you look at their supporters, they are highly populated by elderly people who survive on social grants. They will go to the ANC because they are dependent on social grants.

“If the IFP was in power, they would have gone back to it,” he said.

• sabelo.nsele@witness.co.za

NFP GENERAL secretary Nhlanhla Khubisa and national chairperson Maliyakhe Shelembe have explained why they chose to rejoin the party.

Khubisa said Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi had asked him to rethink the decision because he was needed by the party.

“I said to myself that it was proper and prudent that I listen to the comrades and I withdrew my resignation. What is of paramount importance to me is to ensure that as a party we gel, consolidate and move forward. There is still a process underway. We said that if the Electoral Court does not favour us, we will take the matter to the Constitutional Court.”

Shelembe, who resigned as the national chair on Saturday, said his heart ached because he loved the NFP and he had contributed to the party since its formation.

He said he could not tell his wife that he was planning to resign and that she had only heard about his intention after he had sent his letter of resignation. “She was scared and disappointed.”

He said some members had celebrated when he resigned. — WR.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  local elections  |  nfp

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