Squabbling party draws defectors

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

Despite its troubles, the National Democratic Convention (Nadeco) has been strengthened by the defection of more than 150 members from other parties in the Newcastle area in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

On Saturday embattled Nadeco interim president Ziba Jiyane welcomed former members of the PAC, ANC, IFP and DA to Nadeco.

Jiyane said: "This will send out a clear message that Nadeco is not dying."

Jiyane also sought to clarify the crises within his party.

"Nadeco members ... have the power to elect their leaders. And that is the problem we are facing right now.

"The other faction, led by chairman Hawu Mbatha, does not want democratic procedure to be followed and that has caused political differences in the leadership."

Former PAC member Mbeki Ngwenya said he had joined Nadeco because the PAC had lost its vision.

"I have finally found a home and will be able to grow," he said.

Nadeco's woes continued last week when a Pietermaritzburg high court judge ruled in favour of an application by Mbatha for a postponement of the party's federal conference, which had been called for by Jiyane.

Judge Noel Hurt ruled that Nadeco's national executive committee was the only body that had the power to call a conference.

The national executive committee is chaired by Mbatha.