IFP group wants its former mayors redeployed in provincial legislature
MOVES are allegedly afoot to remove some IFP MPLs from the KwaZulu-Natal legislature to make way for senior party officials who lost their jobs when the May 18 elections radically reduced the number of councils led by the party.
This step is described in minutes that outline the party’s strategy after the elections and indicates how some sections of the IFP approach the elective conference planned for Ulundi in October.
The “core group” committee meeting minutes, a copy of which is in The Mercury’s possession, record that four senior party members – Otto Kunene, Joshua Mazibuko, Alco Ngobese and Nhlanhla Msimang – met at the party’s headquarters in Durban on May 24 for a post-mortem on the elections.
The minutes note that the party lost more than 600 council seats and say it is in crisis.
The meeting called for priority to be given to party national executive committee members now unemployed.
It is understood that it was decided at the meeting that three committee members – former Zululand district municipality mayor Blessed Gwala, IFP Women’s Brigade chairwoman and former Jozini mayor Thembeni kaMadlopha-Mthethwa, and Inkatha Youth Brigade chairman Mkhuleko Hlengwa – should be put immediately on the provincial list.
This week the legislature confirmed that the IFP had submitted a new candidates’ list with Gwala first on it.
According to the minutes, it was resolved at the meeting that the IFP’s deputy national spokesman, Thulasizwe Buthelezi, should be removed from the legislature because he was “too close” to the ANC.
Others targeted for removal, according to the minutes, are John Bhengu, who is accused of not working with the structures and of being “busy writing books”, and SV Naicker, said to be “too old”.
On the question of the forthcoming elective conference, the minutes say it was proposed that Ngobese replace Albert Mncwango as the national organiser.
The acting national chairman of the IFP, Bhekithemba Mthethwa, is described as being “too neutral”, with a comment being made at the meeting that he could “not be trusted to continue”.
“Professor Themba Msimang must be removed because he refused to charge Thulasizwe Buthelezi for supporting Thabo Xaba at the (IFP) Youth Brigade conference,” the minutes say.
The meeting recommended that Mangosuthu Buthelezi should be retained as president of the IFP, with Ben Skosana, an MP, as the national chairman.
“Ringleaders should be removed before the October conference.
“There must be no surprises from the floor (as there were) at the (Inkatha) Youth Brigade conference,” the minutes say.
“We must check with (Lourens) De Klerk (IFP legal adviser) if we can stop nominations from the floor.”
Mazibuko said yesterday that the core group existed, but that he was not a member.
“I do not know anything about the meeting of May 24.”
Mncwango said the core group had functioned only before the 2009 elections and was charged with preparations for these polls.
Thulasizwe Buthelezi said he had not been “formally” told by the IFP that he was to be removed from the legislature.