Shelembe, Khu­bisa to ap­peal 10-year NFP sus­pen­sion

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - BON­GANI HANS

THE in­ter­nal squab­bles within the Na­tional Free­dom Party look far from over as na­tional chair­man Maliyakhe Shelembe and sec­re­tary-gen­eral Nh­lanhla Khu­bisa launch an ap­peal against their 10-year sus­pen­sion from the party.

The two were found guilty of fail­ure to pay elec­tion reg­is­tra­tion fees for the lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions last year, and the NFP was dis­qual­i­fied by the Elec­toral Com­mis­sion of SA.

The NFP man­aged to par­tic­i­pate in the elec­tions only in ru­ral Nquthu Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, north­ern KwaZulu-Na­tal, where cer­tain party mem­bers had paid out of their own pock­ets.

For­mer trea­surer Xolani Ndlovu was ini­tially the only one blamed for the blunder but later Shelembe, Khu­bisa and deputy chair­man Sicelo Mabika, who was sus­pended for seven months, were also charged. Ndlovu had since re­signed. The hear­ing be­gan in Novem­ber and fin­ished last month, with Shelembe and Khu­bisa given lengthy sus­pen­sions.

Shelembe said he and Khu­bisa would chal­lenge the de­ci­sion. Their ap­peal would de­lay the party’s in­ten­tion to re­move them as mem­bers of Par­lia­ment.

Shelembe said it was wrong for the na­tional dis­ci­plinary tri­bunal to charge him and his two col­leagues after Ndlovu had taken full blame for the party’s fail­ure to reg­is­ter on time.

Shelembe said they had handed the timetable to Ndlovu, and it was placed on the wall of his of­fice.

“We were not on a day-to-day run­ning of the ad­min­is­tra­tion. We gave Ndlovu in­for­ma­tion and we told him to ad­here to it.

“He is the one who did not do his job, and he ad­mit­ted to the mistake of con­fus­ing the dates,” he said.

Shelembe said their ap­peal was based on the fact that dur­ing the hear­ings, their le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Boy­sey Gumede, was no longer avail­able after he was ar­rested for point­ing a firearm at the tri­bunal’s pre­sid­ing of­fi­cer, Them­bisa Mafu.

Po­lice spokesman Thu­lani Zwane con­firmed the ar­rest fol­low­ing the in­ci­dent dur­ing the dis­ci­plinary hear­ings at Pi­eter­mar­itzburg’s Im­pe­rial Ho­tel on Novem­ber 23.

“His firearm was also taken away for fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion. He will ap­pear again on January 23 in the Pi­eter­mar­itzburg Mag­is­trate’s Court,” said Zwane.

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