IFP welcomes uMkhonto weSizwe Party 

By Celani Sikhakhane

IFP president Velenkosini Hlabisa has described the arrival of the uMkhonto weSizwe Party in South African politics as a sign of maturity in the country’s democracy. 

Hlabisa’s response comes after some political analysts said they saw the threat of the new party as most significant for the IFP and the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal. 

Speaking in Durban on Wednesday during the announcement of the opposition alliance’s Multi-Party Charter policy position, Hlabisa said the new party will give voters more opportunities to choose wisely on election day.

“The arrival of the uMkhonto weSizwe party shows that our democracy has developed a sense of maturity. We therefore welcome them to SA politics,” Hlabisa said.

IFP provincial chairperson Thami Ntuli said the party did not view uMkhonto weSizwe as a threat.

“We will experience their presence in the upcoming elections. This is where we will have a perfect view of whether they are a threat or not,” Ntuli said.

IFP leaders are on the campaign trail to win KZN. They lost the province in 2004 when the ANC went into coalition with the Minority Front of the late Amichand Rajbansi and Bantu Holomisa’s UDM.

In 2006 the IFP suffered another blow when it lost certain key economic hub municipalities in KZN, including several districts such as Harry Gwala (formerly Sisonke district) and many others.

In 2011, the party was written off as a political force in the province after the emergence of the National Freedom Party (NFP), which was led by the IFP’s former national chairperson, Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi.

The IFP was left with control only in the uMsinga and Ulundi municipalities.

But the party made a surprise comeback in 2016, and in 2021 it wreaked havoc when it removed the ANC from some of its strongholds. 

The emergence of the uMkhonto weSizwe Party has seen various smaller parties committing their supporters to vote for it in the upcoming elections. 

The leader of the African Democratic Change party, Visvin Reddy, who is a councillor in eThekwini, has announced that his party will vote for uMkhonto Wesizwe.

Former police and then arts, culture and sports minister, Nathi Mthethwa, leader of the National People’s Ambassadors (NPA), announced earlier this month that he was joining the uMkhonto weSizwe Party. The NPA contested the 2019 general election but failed to win any seats and received the fewest votes of all 48 parties contesting nationally.

Pictured above: IFP President Velenkosini Hlabisa is not shaken by the emergence of the uMkhonto weSizwe Party. 

Image source: X


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