Some National Freedom Party (NFP) members say the resignation of their former KwaZulu-Natal Chair Vikizitha Mlotshwa will not have a negative impact on their party. Earlier this week, Mlotshwa resigned from the NFP and the legislature.
He had taken the party to court in 2019 when the NFP wanted to remove him from the legislature. NFP leaders in KwaZulu-Natal say they were shocked by Mlotshwa’s resignation.
The party has faced instability since 2014 after its President Zanele KaMagwaza-Msibi fell ill.
Internal fighting also resulted in some leaders leaving the party. Mlotshwa was also expelled by the party in 2019, a move he challenged successfully in Pietermaritzburg High Court. He maintains he was not pushed out of the party, but his decision was voluntary.
— Nonkululeko Hlophe (@Leko3) August 25, 2021
A move towards unity
Some NFP members including Sbongile Ndwandwe and Sphamandlla Ntombela say their party lost a lot of money when Mlotshwa had taken it to court on several occasions over the years. They feel the NFP will be united and focused as they head to the upcoming Local Government Elections.
“The departure of Mlotshwa has made some of us within the NFP happy especially since he has been one leader taking our party to the courts. We believe that will finally stop, we are hoping to bring back our members who left the party and our former councillors he expelled. Mlotshwa leaving our party won’t have any negative effects on the NFP. I think the NFP will be working hard and be united in order to ensure our members remain loyal to our party, we wish him well. You will remember that since 2014 there has never been stability within the NFP since Mlotshwa had several times taken the party to court, we are going to elections because our president Zanele KaMagwaza-Msibi paid from her pocket to ensure the party paid the IEC.”
When asked about his next move in politics, Mlotshwa denied being linked to any party. He is alleged to be linked to the newly formed African People’s Movement known as APEMO which is registered with the IEC by Siphiwe Magwaza.
Mlotshwa however says he will not disappear from the political arena.
“I’ve been going through some difficulties that were taking place within the NFP for a long-time. People alleged that I’m one of those people who are making noise within the party. As a politician, I’ll relax at home for few days or few weeks or few months thereafter I’ll see where should I go and participate to contribute positively but for now there is no political party that I am linked to.”
Effect of Mlotshwa’s resignation as party prepares for elections
Political Analyst from the Xubera Institute for Research and Development, Xolani Dube says Mlotshwa’s resignation will pose no threat to the survival of the NFP.
“Him being an official in the NFP, it was because of the court result, it is not the will of the organisation. The organisation was interdicted not to remove him from his position and so in a way it clearly indicate that he was no longer a welcomed person in the NFP. Looking at the NFP currently and also looking at him I don’t think that is going to cause that serious damage to the constituency of the NFP and the NFP will continue to proceed to limp from one election to another.”
The 2011 Local Government Elections saw 19 hung municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal. Out of these municipalities, the ANC had the majority of the 14, the IFP in four while the NFP had one. The NFP formed a coalition with the ANC to co-govern in the hung municipalities.
In 2016 the NFP failed to pay on time its registration fee to the IEC. The party says this time around without a doubt it will contest in the upcoming elections.