NFP’s single seat decider in hung KZN

Canaan Mdletshe, the National Freedom Party’s secretary-general. | ZANELE ZULU Independent Newspapers

Canaan Mdletshe, the National Freedom Party’s secretary-general. | ZANELE ZULU Independent Newspapers

Published Jun 10, 2024


Durban — The National Freedom Party (NFP) could be the kingmaker in the hung KwaZulu-Natal province with its single seat as unofficial coalition talks happened behind the scenes.

The NFP, formed by the late Zanele KaMagwaza-Msibi in 2011, was blunt when asked about its potential coalition slate.

Canaan Mdletshe, the party’s secretary-general, said they will not betray the people by going into a coalition with the DA.

The KZN province, previously an ANC heartland, was hung with the newly-formed, uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MKP), leading with 37 seats in the 80-member provincial legislature.

It was followed by the IFP with 15 seats, ANC 14, DA 11, EFF two and NFP one.

Any coalition between the IFP-DA and ANC will take the slate to 40 seats, and fall short with one seat to govern the coastal province.

The MKP-EFF coalition will only reach 39 seats. Even with the backing of the NFP, the grouping will get 40 seats, one less to govern the province.

Mdletshe said the NFP was biding its time as talks over a possible coalition intensified after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced last week that the ANC has resolved to form a Government of National Unity (GNU).

Political formations like the MKP and EFF have already said they will not join such a government.

Mdletshe said: “Our leaders will meet on Tuesday to carve out a plan as to how we move forward. But as you can see we are the kingmakers in KZN.”

He added: “Our goal is to choose a government that is for the people. And from the election results, you can see which party was voted the most in KZN.”

He was coy when pressed if he meant the NFP would back the MKP, which got the highest number of votes in KZN.

“Let’s wait for the leadership to decide and then we’ll let you know what our official position is.”

In its first national elections in 2014, the NFP, the IFP splinter party, managed six seats in the National Assembly, dropped to two in 2019 and failed to get any seats in the recent May 29 elections.

In KZN, the party achieved six seats in 2014, slipped to one in 2019 and retained its single seat after the latest elections.

Many political pundits had predicted that the NFP would exit the political scene after the recent elections. However, the party clung defiantly to its single seat in KZN.

The NFP has been rocked by a litany of internal power struggles that saw it losing its main power bases as many of its supporters went back to the IFP.

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