High court rescinds order that granted NFP right to appeal ruling re-instating two leaders

The NFP will no longer appeal the Teddy Thwala and Chris Sibisi rulings. Picture Zanele Zulu/ African News Agency (ANA) Archives

The NFP will no longer appeal the Teddy Thwala and Chris Sibisi rulings. Picture Zanele Zulu/ African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Published Aug 10, 2023


The Pietermaritzburg High Court has rescinded the ruling that gave the other faction of the NFP the right to appeal the ruling that effectively brought back Teddy Thwala and Chris Sibisi as rightful members of the INEC.

The ruling on Thursday effectively means that Secretary-General Canaan Mdletshe and others in his faction will no longer be able to appeal the April 2023 ruling.

Thwala and Sibisi were members of the interim national executive committee (INEC) until their expulsion last year, at the height of the factional fights currently ravaging the party’s structures at all levels.

Thwala is now the party’s political researcher in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature.

The INEC structure was appointed to oversee the party’s affairs while preparing for an elective conference to elect a formal structure.

However, along the way, Thwala and Sibisi were dragged before a disciplinary committee (DC), and they were later expelled.

At the time, Thwala objected to the DC being chaired by Abel Bhekithemba "AB" Dlamini on the basis that he was not qualified to serve in the INEC.

Thwala said Dlamini had left the NFP to join Al Jama-ah and, according to the party’s constitution, he had thus surrendered his membership.

In that regard, he said that after rejoining the party, the party’s constitution barred him from serving in the INEC.

His objections fell on deaf ears; the DC went ahead, and they were both fired. They were told to appeal, but that day never came.

Instead, he was told by Obed Ngcamu, an administrator, to hand over all the party equipment and leave the party.

They took the matter to court and won the right to remain in the structure.

Other than scoring the reinstatement victory, they won the battle to remove Dlamini from the INEC on the basis that he was not eligible to serve on it.

In its April ruling, the court noted that Thwala’s disciplinary hearing was not a normal one where a wayward party member was being disciplined, but that it was one faction trying to get rid of another one.

After Thwala and Sibisi won, Mdletshe lodged an appeal.

The two earlier victors challenged the grant of leave to appeal, claiming that it was flawed.

On Thursday, the high court rescinded the leave to appeal it granted to Mdletshe.

Mdletshe is yet to comment regarding the latest legal setback, while Thwala asked not to comment on the matter out of respect for the party’s internal communication protocols.

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