NFP STILL WELCOMES DETRACTING IFP MEMBERS
By: Zimasa Matiwane
The National Freedom Party managed to welcome defecting Inkatha Freedom Party members without interference in Umlazi on Sunday.
Umlazi’s T-section also known as “17” has been an IFP strong-hold for decades. It is infamous for its political intolerance and enforcing patriarch rules. NFP took credit for bringing what they called “civilisation and co-existence” in the area. Sipho Macingwane, an NFP member said, “Everyone can now wear any political party’s t-shirt here without fear or intimidation and women can now wear pants, which was unheard of a few years ago. NFP brought light to the people.”
Bhekokwakhe Mkhize, a former ward councillor, who served under the IFP in the area, was welcomed with song and enthusiasm together with several other former IFP members.
NFP’s secretary-general, Professor Nhlanhla Khabisa said, “People are joining the NFP in droves, we are happy to welcome new members, this is growing and strengthening our party.” He said this making reference to new members joining and the party’s “growing membership” and presence in Gauteng and the Free State.
Khubisa said that hostels should no longer be considered as no- go areas and free campaigning should be promoted regardless of which political party is in control of the area. He also lambasted the ANC and named the NFP “a government-in-waiting”.
“We come with a clean slate to provide real democracy that people have been waiting for since the end of apartheid, not potholes, e-tolls and situations where our friends land in military airbases.” added Khubisa.
Allegations of hostility towards NFP members emerged when Nhlanhla Khawula of the NFP accused IFP members of intimidation. According to Khawula, the NFP branded car he drives was attacked by men wearing IFP t-shirts on his way to the gathering.
IFP caucus leader, Mduduzi Nkosi refuted these allegations. According to Nkosi, Khawula’s car was smacked with a hand when he almost hit IFP members on the street.
Although there was no evidence of political intolerance and violence at the gathering and zero IFP presence, police were on standby outside the hall.