Jeremiah Mavundla and Canaan Mdletshe who were elected deputy president and secretary-general respectively in the nullified conference in 2019.
Jeremiah Mavundla and Canaan Mdletshe who were elected deputy president and secretary-general respectively in the nullified conference in 2019.

National Freedom Party to re-elect leadership after Pietermaritzburg High Court dissolves current leadership

By Willem Phungula Time of article published Dec 3, 2021

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DURBAN - THE National Freedom Party leadership was expected to meet on Friday and start preparations to re-elect leadership after Pietermaritzburg High Court dissolved the current one.

The court ruled last week that the current executive committee which was elected in 2019 at their conference in Ulundi had not been not properly convened and it was set aside as well as its results.

This meant that the interim national executive committee (INEC) which existed before the conference was the only legitimate structure.

In the 2019 conference the late Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi was retained as president while former Nongoma mayor Jeremiah Mavundla deputised her.

Former Sowetan newspaper journalist Canaan Mdletshe was elected secretary-general while Bhekithemba Dlamini and Mzwakhe Sibisi were elected chairperson and deputy respectively.

The case was brought to court by a faction which was led by the former provincial KwaZulu-Natal chairperson Vikizitha Mlotshwa and MP, Emam Shaik. The applicants had argued that there was no INEC decision to call and prepare for the conference, therefore, any decision taken at that meeting should be declared invalid. They further argued there were no nominations of people to contest positions.

Furthermore, the applicants argued that lower structures of the party were not afforded an opportunity to be represented which was a requirement in terms of the party constitution.

Mdletshe told the Daily News on Thursday that the party leadership would meet on Friday and the court judgment would be on the agenda, adding that they would leave with a clear picture of which direction the party would take in regard to the new conference.

Teddy Thwala, a member of INEC who stood with the applicants said he was putting everything behind him and was focused on working for the 2024 general elections. He said on Friday the INEC would finalise preparations for the policy conference to be held in June next year which would be followed by the elective conference in December.

He added that they were encouraged by the performance of the party in last month’s local government elections which proved that people still loved the party.

“We welcomed the court ruling and that was water under the bridge we are putting squabbles behind us. In these elections people sent us a strong message that we must sort out problems and focus on service delivery.”

He added the party was represented in 75% of the municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal and managed to get three seats in Gauteng, North West and Mpumalanga respectively, adding that in total the party garnered 53 seats and controls eDumbe Municipality.

The problems in the party date back to 2014 when the late president kaMagwaza-Msibi accepted the appointment as deputy minister of Science and Technology from the ANC-led government which did not go down well with other senior party members. This was compounded when kaMagwaza-Msibi suffered a stroke in the same year and factions emerged between members who felt she must step aside and allow a new leader to take the party forward but other faction wanted her to stay although she was unable to speak.

Daily News

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