Durban - National Freedom Party (NFP) leader Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi insisted on Tuesday that the party’s list of parliamentarians, which had been submitted to the Independent Electoral Commission, would not change, despite unhappiness from supporters.
KaMagwaza-Msibi was reacting to the party’s Zululand region, which has complained that it has been allocated only one seat in the National Assembly, despite having landed more than 75 900 votes during the elections. The other four regions each scored between 19 000 and 33 000 votes.
KaMagwaza-Msibi is the only person from Zululand who will go to Parliament. The region will have no representative in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature.
Party insiders said there were fears that the issue could tear the party apart.
The NFP received more than 288 000 votes nationally and secured six seats in the National Assembly. In the KZN legislature, it will also occupy six seats after receiving more than 280 000 votes.
The eThekwini region, where it received 25 000 votes, will have two representatives in the legislature. The uThukela region, which scored 33 000 votes, will have three representatives in the legislature.
The NFP also received 27 000 votes in uThungulu and 19 000 in uMkhanyakude.
Each MP earns about R934 000 a year and is entitled to other benefits, such as cellphones and iPads. In KZN, MPLs each earn about R40 000 a month and are entitled to travel allowances, cellphones and laptops.
The IEC’s chief electoral officer in KZN, Mawethu Mosery, said that the lists had been gazetted and the law did not allow them to be altered.
KaMagwaza-Msibi said the party had explained to the Zululand region that the IEC would not allow the lists to be adjusted.
Since the release of the results, there have been fears that the unhappiness in Zululand will split the party. The issue was discussed during its national executive committee meeting in Durban on Monday.
KaMagwaza-Msibi said that the Zululand leadership had come to the meeting to get clarity on the matter.
Before the elections, she reportedly promised party supporters that the regions which got the most votes would have the most representatives in Parliament.
However, it seems the NFP did not realise that Zululand, its main support base, would be disadvantaged by the way it had drafted the list. Most leaders from the region are below the top six on the list.
“I said that no region should work for other regions. But by that time we had already made the list, which we could not interfere with after it had been gazetted,” she said.
A source in the party said this was a serious concern.
Political analyst Imraan Buccus said that the NFP, as a new party, was bound to face an internal crisis.
“They should know how to manage the crisis strategically,” he said.