'ANC offered us bribes to defect'

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

Six IFP councillors in the Newcastle municipality in northern KwaZulu-Natal have alleged that they were offered bribes by senior ANC officials to cross the floor.

Last week the IFP, including its leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi, alleged that senior ANC officials in the province had been lobbying its councillors to swap their political allegiance in exchange for bribes.

Zanele Magwaza-Msibi, IFP national chairman, said the councillors had been promised cheap loans from Ithala Bank if they dumped the IFP.

She said: "The six councillors were approached by individuals from the ruling party, some placed very high up, with lucrative offers as an incentive to cross the floor."

Councillor Bheki Khumalo told Sowetan yesterday he had spoken to a number of ANC leaders, including provincial chairman S'bu Ndebele. He did not divulge who offered him the alleged bribe.

All he said was that he had personal records of the meetings.

"The documents are in my lawyers' offices and I am prepared to name all."

Senzo Mchunu, the ANC provincial secretary, rejected the allegations.

"These allegations are not new. Many people joined the ANC during the floor-crossing period."

The ANC lost the municipality when the National Democratic Convention joined forces with the IFP and the DA.