06/08/12 DURBAN: UMNZ SIPHO Mbatha uthi uthokoza kakhulu njengoba manje eseyilunga elisha leNFP ekusho lokhu ngesikhathi emukelwa yileliqembu eCostlands Hotel eThekwini. ISITHOMBE: NQOBILE MBONAMBI

Durban - Former IFP MPL and national organiser Sipho Mbatha has joined the National Freedom Party (NFP) following a week of high drama in which he announced the resignation of his seat in the provincial legislature.

But the IFP said he had been fired.

The IFP had accused Mbatha of being “disloyal” and having abused IFP resources to canvass for the NFP.

On Monday, Mbatha was paraded before the media by the NFP – led by former IFP chairwoman Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi, now NFP leader.

Mbatha said he had diligently served the IFP but had now been driven out by a “cabal” that wanted to allocate his position in the legislature to their friends.

KaMagwaza-Msibi welcomed Mbatha, describing him as “passionate” about people.

“As a former national IFP chairperson, I have worked with Mbatha and… I found him to be a hard-working person, and I respect him as a leader of integrity,” said KaMagwaza-Msibi.

IFP deputy national spokesman Joshua Mazibuko said Mbatha had failed to appear before the party’s national council to answer questions on allegations made against him.

He said the national council had had to proceed with the case in his absence and decided to expel him. - The Mercury