ifp woes persist

THERE seems to be no peace in sight for the IFP, in facing a revolt from the youth wing over a lack of change.

This comes after the suspension of Nongoma municipality mayor Vusi Mabika and speaker Ntuthuko Hlongwa. The two, who are IFP members, were suspended on Tuesday for allegedly misusing municipal funds.

It is alleged that Mabika misused R112000, which had been approved by the chief financial officer and the speaker.

The money was used during a integrated development plan and budget meeting with the community.

Godfrey Bhengu, chairperson of the political oversight committee, said the two were also suspended over a lack of service delivery.

But , Sowetan has reliably learnt that Mabika's suspension had nothing to do with the alleged financial mismanagement.

"Since the youth came out and called for change a lot has been happening. There's a lot of internal squabbling, " one councillor said.

"Mabika is known to be close to national chairperson Zanele Magwaza-Msibi, whom the rebellious youths insist should replace IFP president Mangosuthu Buthelezi."

He said there was a lot of purging going on within the party.

"You will see many people getting suspended leading up to the annual elective conference. This is just part of a succession battle."

Bhengu also said: "People have been complaining for a long time about a lack of service delivery in the municipality.

"We had to respond to their complaints and take action, which is why the party decided to act in this fashion," Bhengu said.

Neither Mabika nor Hlongwa were available for comment.