IFP stands by Mtshali

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

Despite KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sibusiso Ndebele's threat to sue IFP's Lionel Mtshali, the party has insisted it will reveal more skeletons in Ndebele's cupboard.

The IFP has reiterated that Ndebele has private business interests and is trying to build his business "empire" by abusing his public office.

The party claimed that Ndebele has several businesses, including mushroom, dry rice, Nguni cattle and a Rainbow Chicken franchise.

This week Ndebele vehemently denied the allegations of owning businesses and also said he surrendered his Nguni stock to the government long ago.

He said Mtshali himself also benefited from the cattle-breeding scheme.

Ndebele's attorney, Mvuseni Ngubane, has served Lionel Mtshali, the province's former premier, with papers suing him for defamation of Ndebele's character.

But Mtshali and the IFP stand by his story and have offered to defend him against Ndebele's legal challenge.

Mtshali said they want to remind Ndebele that taking the legal route will put his government on trial.

Mtshali said the IFP stands by its story about the Ndebele family's business interests and will reveal its sources in due course.

"Is the premier saying his long protective custody over the sleaze-infested administration of the department of agriculture by former head Dr Jabulani Mjwara earned him and his family no private kick-backs?" he asked.

"We gave him 24 hours to withdraw his statement and the deadline is midnight [Thursday]. If he fails to do that, we will take the matter to court on Friday."