The National Freedom Party says it shouldn’t be written off just yet as it plans to contest the upcoming national election. Party leaders claim to have put their differences aside. It also says the party’s founder, Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi, who suffered a major stroke; will be the face of its election campaign.
Formed in 2011 following a split from the IFP, the NFP became a party to be reckoned with and grew in popularity especially in KwaZulu-Natal. In the 2014 elections, it obtained six seats in the National Assembly, but suffered a major setback two years later. It was unable to contest the 2016 Local Election after failing to pay its registration fee to the IEC.
Its woes did not end there.
Over the past two years, there has been a mass exodus of influential leaders. Two weeks ago, the NFP’s Women’s League President Sindy Maphumulo-Mashinini defected to the UDM. The party has been down-playing reports that factions still exist within it. This is despite several court challenges over leadership positions.
Emam Shaik-Munzoor, NFP NEC Member, says that the party’s inability to contest in the 2016 elections had nothing to do with money.
“Not contesting the last elections had nothing to do with money. It was clear even when the matter went to court; you could see the funds were available. We believe the NFP like many, that we were sabotaged, but let me assure you and all the members on the ground that the NFP is ready to contest. Those that have left we wish them well. We have members with capacity, with passion and we believe we going to drive the message home on the 8th of May.”
Despite her slow recovery, NFP Spokesperson Simo Mkhwanazi says that kaMagwaza-Msibi will lead the party into the elections.
“She will be their face of the organization and everywhere she will be needed, she will be there. We can give you an assurance of that. In the rallies which the party has held, the president has been there. You might have seen many of them. We can assure you that the president is fully capable.”
The party says it has funds and intends to contest all nine provinces in the upcoming elections
It will launch its election manifesto in Vryheid on the 31 March.
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