Durban - Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi will continue to lead the National Freedom Party, when the party holds its elective conference.

The NFP maintained that kaMagwaza-Msibi - who suffered a stroke four years ago - was strong enough to lead the party, which she formed after she was fired from the IFP.

On Sunday afternoon the president of the NFP made a surprise visit to the Daily News’s offices in Durban.

When asked for a one-on-one interview with the deputy minister of science and technology, the party’s secretary-general Nhlanhla Khubisa jumped to her defence and offered to speak on her behalf.

“She is well, as you can see She is fine. You can see also in Parliament she is always there doing her work, and she is still active in her department,” said Khubisa.

For the registration campaign kaMagwaza-Msibi visited IFP and NFP strongholds in KwaMashu and Seventeen Hostel in uMlazi, Durban.

“The reception was good. But it is clear that there should be more campaigns to encourage people to go out and register to vote, because the turnout was slow,” Khubisa added.

He said she also visited several voting stations in Ulundi and Nongoma, where she witnessed a bigger number of people at the voting stations.

The NFP had on several occasions postponed its national conference to elect a new leadership. Khubisa said kaMagwaza-Msibi would ensure the elective conference takes place within six months.

He said kaMagwaza-Msibi would retain her position without contestation, as “this is is enshrined in our constitution”.

“There is no one who can contest that position, because it is something that is in black and white, and it is not contested by all and sundry.”

He said kaMagwaza-Msibi had set herself two priorities in preparation for the conference and elections.

“We must revive the structures of the party, which is being done at present.

“And since the strength of the party relies on its branches, we are also trying to audit our branches. If the branches are in order, we will then prepare the party for the national conference.

“The president, the national executive committee and the national working committee have said this must happen within six months.

“Before that we have to hold a policy conference,” Khubisa said.

“We know we are behind schedule, but we will ensure that we have the structures in place.”

He said kaMagwaza-Msibi viewed the province as open to every party to grab a big chunk of voters.

“In 2011 and 2014 most of our votes came from KwaZulu-Natal. In 2014, we had 286 000 voters nationally.

“We will also go to other provinces and we have put up structures and systems to prepare for the elections,” Khubisa said.

Daily News