National Freedom Party adamant it will take part in next year’s elections, despite IEC ban

The IEC has temporarily banned the National Freedom Party. File Picture: Zanele Zulu/African News Agency (ANA)

The IEC has temporarily banned the National Freedom Party. File Picture: Zanele Zulu/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Oct 11, 2023


The National Freedom Party (NFP) says it is adamant that it will be able to take part in next year’s provincial and national elections, despite its ongoing internal ructions.

The party’s undertaking comes as its eligibility to take part in elections, to recall MPs, MPLs, councillors and field candidates for any elections, was suspended by the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC).

The IEC also froze millions in funding meant for the NFP, saying the party has not been able to account for previous allocations.

The electoral commission also told the party to elect leadership, as several factions are currently claiming to be leaders of the party.

— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) October 11, 2023

Speaking to IOL, the party secretary-general (there is a dispute over this), Canaan Mdletshe, said the party was informed of the ban late last year and it is still in place.

However, he said they are working on resolving the issues, as the NFP still has a role to play in the country’s political landscape.

“We are quite certain that we would contest the elections. We would do all the necessary preparations for the elections, including sorting out leadership challenges.

“The NFP has a huge role to play in the political arena in South Africa. We would be doing so not because we would be complying with the IEC instruction, but more so because the NFP membership at large and the general people of this country have a strong belief in the organisation.

“That was demonstrated during the 2021 Local Government Elections (LGE), where we contested with one councillor seat, no resources at all, but managed at least 56 council seats. This is a strong and unwavering vote of confidence by the electorate,” Mdletshe said.

Regarding the now-disputed KwaZulu-Natal provincial conference of the party, which was held in Newcastle two weeks ago, Mdletshe is still looking at the complaints they received about it.

The conference elected Mbali Shinga as the provincial chairperson. Shinga, who is a member of the provincial legislature, was up against Sibusiso Mkhabela, the mayor of Dumbe local municipality.

Mkhabela’s faction walked out of the conference, claiming that there were bogus branches that were discovered during credentials.

The faction is now disputing the legitimacy of the results.

“When it comes to the conference in KZN, we received a number of complaints, which we are still paying attention to,” Mdletshe said about the conference.

The NFP was formed in 2011 when the late Zanele Ka Magwaza-Msibi and her supporters broke away from the IFP (Inkatha Freedom Party).

They went to form a coalition with the ANC and snatched several municipalities from their former party.

However, when KaMagwaza-Msibi fell ill around 2014, the party was ravaged by factionalism to the extent that it was not able to take part in the 2016 local government elections after failing to pay the required deposit.

[email protected]

IOL Politics