Redeployment Sparks Anger

THE succession debacle within the IFP took a new turn yesterday, with national chairperson Zanele Magwaza-Msibi's supporters confirming that she has been redeployed to the provincial cabinet.

The group, calling itself Friends for VZ Magwaza-Msibi, says this effectively releases Magwaza-Msibi from her powerful post as Zululand district municipality mayor, "a job close to the heart of the people".

The group says it will stand by her "through thick and thin".

National committee spokesperson Nhlanhla Khawula said the decision to support her was taken at a meeting in Gauteng on Monday.

Khawula said they were aware she has been redeployed to the provincial legislature in "an attempt to sideline her".

"They are moving her because they want to make sure that she loses touch with the people at grass roots level.

"We all know that Zululand district municipality is smoothly run. So they cannot fool us by saying there are other mayors who have also been removed or redeployed. Those (redeployed) mayors were not performing and some were merely victims of the smear campaign to marginalise all those that support her."

Khawula said the committee represented all districts.

"We established this committee after realising that she was being abused. We want to let her know that we are fully behind her," he said.

He also alleged that an IFP provincial leader had told the eThekwini district conference in 2008 that the IFP would never be led by a woman.

"He even went on to say that 'dogs that were put in positions by Prince Buthelezi are now biting him'. Clearly, men are in control in the IFP. Women are not represented and this cannot continue."

IFP general secretary Musa Zondi refused to comment. He would only say: "The source of all this information is Sowetan. Canaan Mdletshe (reporter) is privy to information that we are not.

"Ask him (for comment) as he knows the fate of the national chairperson."

Magwaza-Msibi was not available for comment yesterday.