Council spends over R700000 on ifP indaba

THE Zululand district municipality in Ulundi, KwaZulu- Natal, allegedly splashed out about R400000 on accommodation for a "youth summit" that turned out to be an IFP meeting.

The three-day "youth summit" was attended only by senior IFP leadership, including party president Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

The amount excludes transport, which is believed to be more than R300000.

Other dignitaries were acting national chairperson of IFP Youth Brigade Pat Lebenya-Ntanzi, Sadesmo president Ntuthuko Majozi, Zululand district mayor Blessed Gwala and councillors.

Buthelezi was the guest speaker at the "summit", which started on Monday and ended yesterday.

In her speech Lebenya-Ntanzi said: "Today is a significant day in the history of the IFP. Never before have we, the young leaders of this party, gathered for a summit of this magnitude ..."

Sakhi Siyaya, chairperson of the Zululand district youth council, which includes youth from the DA and the ANC, said he was shocked when he received calls from youth council executive members enquiring about the summit.

"I denied that there was a youth summit going on because we had not agreed to hold one.

"We had resolved to hold a workshop after the World Cup where youth from all five local municipalities were going to attend," Siyaya said.

He said after the phone calls he immediately phoned chairperson of the portfolio committee on youth affairs in the district, Nkululeko Ndlela, who was also in the dark about the summit.

"She was as shocked as all of us about the summit, which was held at Vryheid."

Ndlela confirmed that he did not attended the summit.

"We view this as corruption because the municipality forked out so much money under the pretext of the youth which was not in attendance."

"We call on MEC for co-operative governance Nomsa Dube to intervene and investigate why the municipality paid for the IFP conference," one of the young people from the district, Zamani Nene, said.

KwaZulu-Natal Sadesmo provincial executive member member Sbongakonke Mhlo-ngo said he was expelled from the "summit" because he was accused of supporting Zanele Magwaza-Msibi. "I am disappointed because that was not a developmental summit, rather an IFP campaign."

Organisers of the summit were not available for comment.