By-elections deal blow to IFP chairperson
Results from four municipal by-elections held in KwaZulu-Natal this week dealt a blow to the political aspirations of Inkatha Freedom Party national chairperson Zanele Magwaza-Msibi, who is on the verge of being expelled from the party and is considering starting her own.
Thursday’s results saw the African National Congress win the two wards formerly represented by IFP members who were expelled from the party for supporting Magwaza-Msibi—despite their contesting the seats.
In uMtshezi’s (Escourt) ward three, former councillor Sihle Mbele—running as an independent—was placed third behind the IFP’s Mtshengiseni Zulu and winner, the ANC’s Derrick Dlamini.
In uMlalazi’s (Eshowe) ward 12, former councillor Bheki Ngema garnered just 166 votes while the ANC’s Mthokozisi Dlamini won with 959 votes to the IFP’s Thandeka Masuka 333 votes.
IFP candidate Sifiso Mthetwa won Hlabisa’s ward nine while uMzumbe’s ward 10 went to the ANC’s Mama Zunga.
Magwaza-Msibi’s battle with the IFP’s traditionalist leadership over a successor to president Mangosuthu Buthelezi came to a head this week when her Pietermaritzburg High Court application to compel the party to halt disciplinary hearings against her and hold a conference to elect new leadership was dismissed with costs.
Magwaza-Msibi told the M&G the “door to a return to the IFP is firmly closed” and confirmed that her supporters were busy consulting communities and IFP branches about forming a new party. A decision is expected to be announced next week. The IFP’s national council also sits this weekend and Magwaza-Msibi said her expulsion was a fait accompli..