/ 9 February 2023

IFP, EFF tensions escalate in KwaZulu-Natal hung municipality

Inkatha Freedom Party supporters. The IFP and Freedom Front. Photo: (Rajesh Jantilal/AFP)

A war of words has erupted between the EFF and IFP amid an acrimonious split which could see the IFP losing some municipalities in KZN.

The conflict between the two political parties on Tuesday escalated after the EFF accused IFP leaders of plotting to assassinate EFF secretary general, Marshall Dlamini.

According to EFF national spokesperson, Sinawo Tambo, the party was in possession of information from the police showing that IFP leaders were planning to have Dlamini assassinated.

While the EFF’s decision to work against the IFP was a collective one, Tambo said IFP leaders were convinced Dlamini was behind the EFF’s decision to revoke the coalition agreement which the party had with the IFP.

“The reliable intelligence reports illustrate that senior leaders of the IFP believe that our secretary general is solely responsible for the collective decision we took to initiate and support motions of no confidence against IFP mayors in several municipalities in the province of KwaZulu-Natal,” Tambo said. 

The fallout between the EFF and IFP paves the way for the ANC to wrest control of some of KZN’s municipalities from the IFP.

As things stand, the EFF has joined forces with the ANC and the National Freedom Party (NFP) in a bid to oust the IFP in the Nongoma municipality. The ANC, EFF and NFP have enough seats to remove the IFP from power in the municipality.

According to the NFP secretary general, Canaan Mdletshe, a motion of no confidence against IFP office bearers at the Nongoma Municipality is scheduled to be debated on Thursday.

“There are two motions that have been filed in Nongoma, one is the motion against the speaker and another one is the one that has been filed by the ANC and is against the mayor of Nongoma, councillor Albert Mncwango.

“The reasons why these motions have been filed are simple, we are working with the ANC. Quite frankly we have numbers on our side. We are confident that come Wednesday the municipality is going to be run by the coalition of the NFP, ANC and EFF,” said Mdletshe. 

However, IFP spokesperson, Mkhuleko Hlengwa, who dismissed the EFF’s claims that senior IFP leaders were plotting to assassinate Dlamini, said the EFF’s plan to “hand over power to the ANC” in hung municipalities in KZN would not succeed.

Some EFF councillors in KZN’s hung municipalities, Hlengwa said, were not happy with the party’s decision to enter a coalition with the ANC.

“The EFF’s delusions of grandeur have come full circle in the face of a brewing internal revolt emanating out of its decision to restore the ANC to power. It exaggerated its influence, assuming its parting of ways with us would spell disaster for the IFP,” he said. 

The party, Hlengwa said, was bitter after the IFP rejected demands for EFF councillors to be elected as mayors in some of the hung municipalities.

“The EFF’s latest political stunt of removing themselves from co-governance with the IFP did not yield the results they had hoped for.

“They believed they could force the IFP into a position to hand over municipalities, but the IFP was unwilling to betray the trust of the communities that voted for us,” Hlengwa said.

This article first appeared in The Witness

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