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IFP in KZN will work with anyone but the ANC

IFP leaders charter a way forward after successful elections. Chairperson of the national campaign committee Narend Singh, founder Mangosuthu Buthelezi, party leader Velenkosini Hlabisa and spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa
IFP leaders charter a way forward after successful elections. Chairperson of the national campaign committee Narend Singh, founder Mangosuthu Buthelezi, party leader Velenkosini Hlabisa and spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa
Image: Zimasa Matiwane

The IFP in KwaZulu-Natal will not work with a party that has been “clearly rejected by voters and help bring them back” to form governments in hung municipalities across the province. 

On Sunday party leader Velenkosini Hlabisa outlined the IFP's decision not to enter into any coalitions with the ANC. However, it is not only governance that informed the IFP’s stance. 

Historic tensions between the two parties and recent wrangling are what will stand between an ANC and IFP government, Hlabisa explained.

“They (ANC) have let down the people of SA and the voters clearly expressed themselves when it comes to the ANC. We will not bring them back.

“There are many outstanding issues, we have the issue of Mzala Nxumalo in the Zululand district which the KZN ANC leadership have flatly refused to correct the naming of Zululand with Mzala Nxumalo knowing very well the book that he wrote threw insults at the founder of the IFP.

“The insults that have been thrown by the ANC during the campaign mixing issues of the royal family — conflating the role of the traditional prime minister (Buthelezi), accusing the IFP falsely of using that position to get votes,” he claimed. 

The book Hlabisa referred to was written by an ANC/SACP leader and intellectual, Jabulani “Mzala” Nxumalo, and is titled Gatsha Buthelezi: Chief with a Double Agenda. It is now banned.

The ANC named the Zululand region, which is an IFP stronghold, after Nxumalo.

The party team that will lead coalition talks includes spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa, chair of the national campaign committee Narend Singh, KwaZulu-Natal chairperson Thami Ntuli and Bonginkosi Dlamini (MPL).

The IFP said it was willing to go into coalition with the DA, the EFF and other smaller parties, including independent candidates. The party will however work with the ANC outside the province as its relationship with the party’s national leadership differs. 

Where it governs outright, the IFP said it was ready to get into office and had prepared before the elections to capacitate municipalities with not just political deployees such as mayors but with officials who are capable and equal to tasks.

“We have made the preparations. We know the municipalities where we will have to employ new municipal managers because we were not caught off guard — the indications were clear on where we will win so we will not be found napping. 

“After 14 days we will enter into performance agreements with all our mayors. There will be municipal managers in that meeting and while we won’t be entering into performance agreements with them, we want all to know that we made a commitment to the public and it is also their responsibility to deliver,” Hlabisa explained.

He said every mayor will be monitored and reviewed closely by a team of independent experts the IFP will put together to ensure there is no corruption, misappropriation of municipal funds and general laziness.

“We do not want to come with apologies that 'we did not deliver, please give us another chance' to the people.

“Every deployee will either deliver or will be shown the door. We will not hesitate to say go. On corruption we are not going to be soft because the people of SA deserve clean governance that is focused on providing them with services,” he warned. 

Hlabisa said after the first 100 days in office, the performance of every mayor will be monitored and reviewed against the agreement each made with the party.

“Complacency and mediocre services will not be tolerated — good and competent governance is what people need. We will give the electorate every reason to believe in the IFP’s solid record of integrity and good governance,” he said.

“I therefore make a commitment today that the IFP will honour every vote, providing ethical leadership and servant leadership, to secure good governance, wherever we have been asked to govern,” Hlabisa added. 

Party founder Buthelezi, who was also present on Sunday, thanked Hlabisa for his leadership during the campaign. He also thanked all IFP members for their dedication in leading a successful campaign. 

Buthelezi, who emphasised that he will not gloat about the IFP’s growth, particularly in KwaZulu-Natal, said their electoral fortunes were a “vindication of the careful path we have walked to transition from the IFP’s first chapters, to the maturing of a party that constantly punches above its weight”.

“The deterioration in our country’s governance and wellbeing has only served to emphasise the IFP as a champion of integrity,” Buthelezi added. 

TimesLIVE

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