By Celani Sikhakhane
The National Freedom Party – once the queen of kingmakers in KZN politics – used its provincial congress to launch a political comeback.
On Saturday, the party held its provincial conference in Newcastle, northern KwaZulu-Natal, where it elected the KZN leadership that will take the party to the 2024 national general election.
Mbali Shinga was elected the new chairperson, the deputy chair is Simphiwe Khumalo, Zoh Mtshali is secretary, with Zethembe Ngobese elected as deputy secretary, Khaya Khumalo as coordinator and Sfiso Mdluli as treasurer.
eThekwini deputy mayor Zandile Myeni, who was contesting the secretary position, and Dumbe mayor Sibusiso Mkhabela, who was contesting the position of chairperson, walked out of the conference.
They complained that some credentials were fraudulently obtained.
NFP interim structure member Mzwakhe Sibisi said many people in the political arena have already written off the party.
“But this elective conference is the comeback ceremony of the NFP in the political landscape of KZN. Those who have written off our party and drafted its obituary must know from today that we are back in full force,” said Sibisi.
He urged members to unite for the sake of their late president, Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi.
“Even Judge Piet Koen of the Pietermaritzburg High Court told us on Thursday when he delivered judgment in the interdict brought against this conference that we must stop fighting each other for the sake of our late leader. He said we must be careful about taking each other to court because all these ructions will hurt us badly before the election.”
When the NFP was formed in February 2011 it helped the ANC to topple the IFP in 29 municipalities. Of 61 municipalities, the IFP was only left with Msinga and Ulundi.
Pictured above: Newly elected leaders of the National Freedom Party in KwaZulu-Natal.
Image source: Celani Sikhakhane