IFP has to regain lost ground, says top official

The Inkatha Freedom Party has to find ways of regaining municipalities lost to the “fraud” of floor-crossing, its 30th annual conference heard in Ulundi on Friday.

Top party official Professor Themba Msimang, who chairs the IFP body tasked with monitoring municipalities, lashed out at what he described as the “chequebook politics” of the African National Congress.

The “dirty tricks” of the ruling party has had an effect on some of the IFP’s “not so upright councillors”, he said, going on to warn that “the ANC wants a one-party state”.

Apart from its gains in the floor-crossing, the ANC has also won 11 IFP-run wards in by-elections since 2001, said Msimang.

On Saturday, the IFP will elect a new national chairperson and deputy.

The chairperson’s post became vacant with the departure of Ziba Jiyane to start a new centre-right party, the National Democratic Convention (Nadeco).

Jiyane was suspended from the IFP for bringing the party into disrepute.

His deputy, Stanley Dladla, resigned but remains in the party.

On Friday, the Pietermaritzburg High Court ordered that expelled IFP MPL Jabulani Maphalala should be reinstated as a full member of the party and the legislature.

“The court granted an interim order until the full merits of the case can be heard on September 12,” Maphalala said.

He was expelled by the party before the floor-crossing period started this week after suspicions that he would join Nadeco.

Maphalala said he received a letter on August 30 indicating that the IFP was to hold a “special” meeting the next day.

“In the letter, they made serious allegations that I wanted to cross to another party and that I had tried to entice other members as well.”

Maphalala said his lawyer sent an urgent letter to the IFP stating that he would not be able to attend due to poor health.

However, the next day he was expelled in his absence without having had a chance to discuss the allegations.—Sapa

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