IFP suspends Msibi backers

THE situation is tense in the Ulundi municipality following the suspension of several councillors accused of supporting IFP national chairperson Zanele Magwaza-Msibi.

Sowetan has learnt that all the suspended councillors had been publicly named by IFP president Mangosuthu Buthelezi as "working with Friends of VZ kaMagwaza-Msibi to destabilise and divide the party".

Buthelezi shocked residents recently when he showed up at an Integrated Development Planning meeting and turned it into an IFP rally. He spoke at length about the people causing divisions within the IFP.

Councillor Zondamaqabane Sibiya, who is also IFP Ulundi regional chairperson, confirmed that he had received a letter of suspension.

"Yes, I was suspended with immediate effect yesterday and will have to appear before a disciplinary hearing on Saturday. I am accused of disrupting a constituency election on March 27 that was subsequently postponed. It's not true because I never disrupted any election.

"I will call a community meeting before Saturday so that I can inform the people who elected me of what has transpired," Sibiya said.

The councillors have until tomorrow to respond to the letters or appear before a disciplinary committee on Saturday.

When asked at Monday's press conference in Durban about steps the IFP was going to take against the councillors, Buthelezi replied: "The IFP's structures will have to deal with those councillors, not me."