ifp infighting affects safety

THE political turmoil and distrust within the IFP is affecting those tasked with providing security to party leadership.

THE political turmoil and distrust within the IFP is affecting those tasked with providing security to party leadership.

The latest victim is a VIP security officer in party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi's team.

Sowetan was told yesterday that Inspector Jabulani Thwala was sent packing after being "associated with the party's national chairperson Zanele Magwaza-Msibi's bodyguards".

Thwala had been stationed in Ulundi for years, providing security to Buthelezi.

A highly placed source within the IFP said the party's NEC passed a vote of no confidence in Thwala after Buthelezi complained about his safety.

He said Buthelezi was not pleased with Thwala being seen with Magwaza-Msibi's bodyguards.

"The NEC wrote a letter to the VIP protection unit in the area asking for Thwala's replacement with immediate effect," the source said.

A senior IFP official said: "Other VIP unit members that look after Buthelezi were also given instructions not to be friendly with anyone - even people on the street. It's likely that a number of them will be replaced if they are seen socialising with certain people.

"They might be replaced if they don't stop being friends with members of this newly formed group, Friends of VZ (Veronica Zanele Magwaza-Msibi)."

The group was launched last week in support of Magwaza-Msibi, pictured, who has been redeployed to the provincial cabinet after serving two terms as mayor of the Zululand district.

Thwala was unavailable for comment, but his former colleagues confirmed he was no longer with them.

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