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The IFP has denied that the party is going to haul its senior leader in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature, Lionel Mtshali, to a disciplinary hearing for his statements against Premier S'bu Ndebele.
Mtshali had accused Ndebele of using the public office to enrich himself. But Mtshali had later apologised and retracted his statement saying it was a "misapprehension as to the facts".
Ndebele accepted Mtshali's apology, but party chief whip Cyril Xaba said he will ask the Speaker of the legislature, Willies Mchunu, to investigate the possible breach of the code of conduct. Ndebele said he was hoping that the "sorry saga will be put to an end to work together for betterment of the province".
IFP secretary-general Musa Zondi yesterday said the claims about Mtshali being hauled before a disciplinary committee were "entirely concocted by the media". He said Mtshali was one of the senior leaders who commands respect within the party.
"Mtshali commands the respect and trust of the IFP's national executive committee in his capacity as leader of the official opposition in KwaZulu-Natal.
"He is a man of principles and as such is naturally feared by the ruling party. What more could a leader of the official opposition desire?" asked Zondi.
He said the IFP has long valued Mtshali's fearless and tireless work in exposing instances of maladministration, fraud and corruption in the province.
Political analyst Protas Madlala said the Ndebele-Mtshali saga was yet another example of intolerance between the ANC and IFP in the province.
"Intolerance between the two parties is affecting service delivery to the poor. Individuals spend their energy engaged in personal fights rather than working together for the good of the province."