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26 Apr 2004 15:57
While Inkatha Freedom Party supporters protested against the declaration of the elections as free and fair, the party leadership continued talks with the African National Congress on setting up a broad-based provincial government in KwaZulu-Natal on Monday.
IFP spokesperson Blessed Gwala said thousands of IFP supporters marched to the Zululand municipality in Ulundi in Northern KwaZulu-Natal to protest against alleged irregularities that took place during the recent elections.
Gwala said supporters were angry at the Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC) decision to declare the April 14 poll free and fair, without investigating 42 complaints of intimidation and violence lodged by the party.
“This had a bearing on the outcome of the election,” he said.
The IFP lodged papers with the Electoral Court last week contesting the declaration of the elections as free and fair.
Zululand Mayor Zanele Magwaza handed over a memorandum to IEC officials just after 1pm on Monday.
Meanwhile, the ANC and the IFP have resumed talks on setting up the provincial government, but have decided not to release details of the deliberations.
ANC provincial secretary Sipho Gcabashe said the talks were taking place in a “constructive and cordial” spirit.
He said both parties had decided against releasing the details of issues being discussed.
“At the end of the talks—at least before or by Friday—a joint ANC/IFP statement will be issued.
We urge the media to be patient because the deliberations of this nature are usually crippled if issues are discussed through the media.”
The IFP pulled two of its officials out of the provincial cabinet that was announced by newly elected premier Sibusiso Ndebele.
Celani Mthetwa had been appointed provincial minister of public works and Inkosi Nyanga Ngubane provincial minister for social welfare and development.
The IFP said the candidates withdrew as the appointment did not meet with the “express approval” of the party.—Sapa
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