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Fired NFP councillor drags party to court to challenge his dismissal

Fired NFP councillor Jeremiah Mavundla (left) with party secretary-general Canaan Mdletshe. Picture: Supplied

Fired NFP councillor Jeremiah Mavundla (left) with party secretary-general Canaan Mdletshe. Picture: Supplied

Published Jan 26, 2022

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DURBAN - Fired Zululand District Municipality councillor Jeremiah Mavundla has taken the National Freedom Party (NFP) to court to challenge his dismissal.

Party disciplinary tribunal acting chairperson Emam Shaik said Mavundla filed his papers in the Pietermaritzburg High Court last week, asking the court to set aside his dismissal and the termination of his party membership.

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Sheik told the Daily News on Tuesday Mavundla was fired last month after he was found guilty of unlawfully changing the party candidates list, which was submitted to the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa for last year’s local government elections.

In the list, he said Mavundla allegedly removed Berthuel Nxumalo, who was number one on the list for Zululand, and put himself on top.

He said Mavundla was number two on the Nongoma Municipality list but it looked like he wanted to be on the district list, which would put him in a position to be elected as mayor or to get a seat on the council’s executive committee.

“It is true he has been removed as councillor, but we are aware that he has taken us to court. We have replaced him with Nxumalo, who was number on the original list. Mavundla would have not been in Zululand District Municipality should he not have unilaterally and unlawfully changed the list,” said Sheik.

Mavundla, from Nongoma, confirmed he was challenging his removal in court but denied he changed the list.

“Who said that? I do not know what they are saying. I did not change the list,” said Mavundla.

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He was appointed as acting party president after the death of the party founder and president Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi last year.

During the party elective conference in 2019, which has since been nullified by court, he was elected deputy president.

The conference was challenged in the Pietermaritzburg High Court by the faction which did not agree with their election, and the court set aside the conference and its resolutions, including the election of office-bearers.

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The court reinstated the interim national executive committee, which was mandated to organise a new conference.

Mavundla was the only exco member in Zululand and Sheik said the party was in the process of appointing a new member to the position.

The party was founded in 2011 by the late kaMagwaza-Msibi after she was fired by the IFP. It was beset by leadership problems after she suffered a severe stroke in 2014.

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