Two EFF councillors among 155 members of various parties who join IFP

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IFP KZN chairperson Thami Ntuli with former EFF councillor Bongimpilo Nhlengethwa. Photo: Supplied/IFP
IFP KZN chairperson Thami Ntuli with former EFF councillor Bongimpilo Nhlengethwa. Photo: Supplied/IFP
  • More than 150 members of various political parties joined the IFP in KwaZulu-Natal.
  • The IFP said 40 ANC members, 30 from the EFF, 37 from the ABC, and 48 from ActionSA had joined the IFP. 
  • Among them were former EFF councillors, Bongimpilo Nhlengethwa and Zanele Nzuza.

The IFP in KwaZulu-Natal announced on Tuesday that former EFF councillors, Bongimpilo Nhlengethwa and Zanele Nzuza, were among 155 members of various parties who joined it.

According to the IFP, 40 ANC members, 30 from the EFF, 37 from the Abantu Batho Congress, and 48 from ActionSA recently joined the party, leading to "exponential growth in its membership".

The red berets expelled Nhlengethwa, who served as the EFF's PR councillor in the AbaQulusi Local Municipality, on Monday, citing "serious allegations of corruption and conspiring against the EFF".

According to the party, Nhlengethwa was leading an operation, allegedly sanctioned by Zululand District Municipality Mayor Thulasizwe Buthelezi, to get EFF members in Zululand to resign from organisational responsibilities and positions and take up government positions in an effort to weaken the EFF and fight its kingmaker status. 

Nzuza was said to have handed in her resignation to the EFF on Tuesday.

READ | EFF cuts ties with IFP over power sharing in coalition municipalities

IFP KZN chairperson Thami Ntuli announced the recent additions at a press conference at Durban Manor Hotel.

Ntuli said the IFP in KZN was pleased by the "exponential growth" in its membership, particularly in the first months of 2023. 

He said: 

We are most excited as this gives us a solid base to build upon in our determination to deliver the people of KwaZulu-Natal from the hands of the ANC in the 2024 general elections.

Ntuli said in recent weeks that the party had been inundated with calls from all corners of the province from people who wanted to join the IFP.

"These are not just ordinary South Africans, but also leaders and councillors from different political parties, including the ANC, EFF, and other parties," Ntuli said.

He credited the "mass exodus" from the EFF and ANC to the "political miscalculation of the EFF leadership to betray its voters in this province by deciding to collaborate with the ANC in governance".

IFP in KZN welcomed 155 members who jumped ship from other political parties including the EFF and ANC. Photo: Supplied/IFP

Ntuli said the move was "now yielding positive results for the IFP". 

He claimed the IFP served as the only credible alternative party in South Africa and said this was the reason for its ability to attract members from other parties. 

In what played out like a public divorce, the EFF dumped the IFP in KZN in January.

EFF leader Julius Malema instructed all the party's deputy mayors in KwaZulu-Natal to resign immediately. 

READ MORE | We're not interested in 'token mayorships': IFP hits back at Malema after breakdown in relations

At the time, the EFF had deputy mayors in three district municipalities: Zululand, Amajuba, and Uthukela.

It also had deputy mayors in five local municipalities: Dannhauser, Maphumulo, Nongoma, Umhlathuze, and Mtubatuba.

The two parties supported each other in 14 municipalities, leading to uncertainty in these areas. 

Malema's call came after the two parties discussed Gauteng municipalities and metros, but the IFP refused to vote with the newly formed EFF-ANC coalition with smaller parties. 

As a result, Malema said he wanted the IFP removed from all municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. 

At the time, IFP leader Velenkosini Hlabisa hit back at Malema, saying his party was not interested in "token mayorships" and blamed the collapse in its relations with the EFF at the latter's feet. He said the Malema-led party was driven by self-interest. 

Hlabisa cited the uMhlathuze municipality in KwaZulu-Natal and municipalities in Gauteng, saying the EFF wanted a "barter-trade type of governing, where you scratch my back and I scratch yours." 

Ntuli also said on Tuesday that the people of KZN knew very well that the ANC and the EFF were "caught up in a marriage of inconvenience".

"This mass exodus of EFF leadership to the IFP yet again shows that the IFP is the only hope for the province of KZN. The IFP is the only party that can save the people of KZN from the corruption and mismanagement of the ANC. 

"We, therefore, warmly welcome these EFF leaders to the IFP today. We will work with them in Zululand and the rest of the province to reach our goals and dislodge the ANC in 2024," Ntuli said.

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