Durban - The NFP has not been completely written off from the local government elections as it has emerged that it will stand in the Nquthu Municipality, in northern KwaZulu-Natal.
The Electoral Commission confirmed to The Mercury on Thursday that Nquthu was the only municipality in the country where the troubled party managed to pay the registration fee on time.
“Apparently they paid before the cut-off date,” said IEC provincial spokesman Thabani Gwiri.
Ngwiri could not explain how or why the IEC had excluded NFP candidates in Nquthu from its candidate list, which was released last week.
NFP deputy president Alex Kekana said Nquthu was the only municipality which complied with an order from the party leadership that leadership from each district should pay from their own funds for the elections.
Kekana said the leaders in Nquthu paid on May 25 for 17 ward candidates and 19 proportional representation councillors, which they would claim back later.
“They did the payment themselves. We said the party would reimburse them,” said Kekana.
He accused suspended party national treasurer Xolani Ndlovu and the IEC of preventing other party districts around the country from paying.
Attempts to reach Ndlovu for comment on Thursday were unsuccessful as his cellphone was not answered and he did not respond to messages.
Kekana said on May 17 Ndlovu briefed the national working committee that he had submitted party candidates to the IEC and paid R500 000 for the whole country’s wards.
“We relaxed, thinking we were covered for the elections.”
However, soon afterwards he realised this was not the case and instructed chairmen of provinces to help their districts to make their own payments. He then informed the IEC’s head office of his decision.
However, Kekana alleged, before other districts (municipalities) could comply, Ndlovu wrote to the IEC asking that it not accept direct registration from district leadership.
“Leaders in the KZN districts said when they went to the IEC to register their candidates they were told Xolani had written a letter to the IEC to say it should not take their registrations,” he said.
He then decided to remove the responsibility of making payment from Ndlovu, and gave it to an office administrator, who tried to do it on June 23. He said he only learnt through the media that the IEC nationally had rejected the payment because it had been made after the June 3 cut-off date.
“Before the cut-off date the IEC should have reminded us that we had not made our payment,” Kekana said.