Ziba Jiyane, leader of the National Democratic Convention (Nadeco), has been suspended by the management committee of his political party. This was announced at a press conference in Durban on Tuesday.
The press conference was called to discuss ”the misbehaviour by Mr Ziba Jiyane and [Nadeco secretary general] Professor Jabulani Maphalala”, the party said.
Nadeco national chairperson Mandla Magubane told the Mail & Guardian Online that Jiyane and Maphalala were suspended with immediate effect following a resolution made by the party’s management committee on Monday.
Jiyane on Monday suspended national MPs Chris Ngiba and Vincent Ngema and KwaZulu-Natal MPL Hawu Mbatha. ”We are currently investigating the conduct of certain members of Nadeco, and will, if necessary, institute disciplinary action soon,” Jiyane said in a statement.
Jiyane said due to ”certain events” during the past two months, Nadeco’s name had ”been brought into disrepute”. He did not elaborate.
On Tuesday, Magubane said: ”They [Jiyane and Maphalala] have brought the party in disrepute. They have suspended the committee agreed upon to lead the party.”
He said the suspensions of Ngiba, Ngema and Mbatha have already been lifted. ”They will continue with their daily duties.”
Though Jiyane’s office was unaware of the suspension when contacted by the M&G Online on Tuesday, Magubane said letters announcing Jiyane’s suspension were faxed to the party’s Durban offices earlier in the day.
Asked whether the management committee expects Jiyane to fight the suspension, Magubane said: ”If he respects the constitution of the party, he will come forward to a disciplinary hearing after being given charges within seven days.”
Jiyane was unavailable for comment on Tuesday.
According to recent media reports, a rift has emerged among Nadeco members over who should be elected party leader at the party’s annual conference, set to take place in two months’ time.
The Daily News reported at the end of July this year that Jiyane’s future as president of Nadeco was unsure after a threat by senior disillusioned party members to ensure he is not elected at the party’s annual conference.
A serious rift emerged among Nadeco members about a month ago when the party could not agree on who should replace the late MPL John Aulsebrook, the report said. The rift worsened when the party’s national executive committee was suddenly dissolved by Jiyane and replaced by a six-member interim federal council, headed by himself.
Some disgruntled party members felt the council was not properly formed and labelled Jiyane a dictator. They argued that Jiyane had deliberately excluded some party members during the formation of the council — including Mbatha, Ngiba and Ngema, the Daily News said.
On Tuesday, Magubane denied that Jiyane’s suspension would affect the leadership election. ”There are a lot of leaders among ourselves. We will not be affected.”
Jiyane fell out with Inkatha Freedom Party president Mangosuthu Buthelezi last year. He left the IFP to form Nadeco, and was followed by a number of IFP Youth Brigade leaders and IFP councillors.
Three of these IFP members, Phumlani Khuzwayo, Zandile Myeni and S’khumbuzo Cele, returned to the IFP in April this year.
”We have, as a matter of principle and with a clear conscience, decided that we cannot fool ourselves any longer and that we want to return to our political home,” they said in a statement at the time. ”To us Nadeco is a one-man fan club, with no independent identity, trying desperately to use the same principles as that of the IFP to attract support.”
Nadeco does not have the history of developing these principles and is presenting them to the people without context, the statement read.