Support for Magwaza-Msibi

THE eight IFP branches in Eastern Cape say they are fully behind the party's national chairperson, Zanele Magwaza-Msibi.

Magwaza-Msibi's redeployment from the Zululand district municipality to the KwaZulu-Natal provincial legislature has created divisions in the party.

Her sympathisers see this as an attempt to sabotage her chances of leading the IFP after the party's annual general conference in May.

Magwaza-Msibi was the "people's favourite", according to acting Eastern Cape provincial chairperson Gcobani Khala.

"The IFP exists in Eastern Cape because of her. People know only her because she is a vibrant and energetic leader. She has many supporters," Kahla said.

But he refused to be drawn on the current succession debacle.

"I don't want to be divisive. What is happening at the moment is an internal matter and I wouldn't want to pre-empt what's going to happen in future. But it's all looking good. It's positive," he said.

Khala said the decision by the national council to postpone the annual general conference has "frustrated" members. They are unhappy because they were looking forward to the conference making their voices heard.

"We are busy launching branches. We will have a big provincial gathering next Saturday at eNgcobo. That's where some important decisions will be taken," he said.

IFP member Mawethu Funda said Magwaza-Msibi had done something no other politician had ever done in the region.

"She invited traditional leaders from Eastern Cape to KwaZulu-Natal, especially to visit Zululand to view the extent of development taking place there. This had never been done before," Funda said.

"That is one reason why so many people recognise her. They have confidence in her. They want her to lead the party after Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi. This will become evident during the elective conference."