CAPE TOWN - Even before meeting with the ruling party to discuss possible coalitions in the 18 hung local and district municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal, the IFP says it will not form any agreement with the ruling party in the province.
The president of the IFP, Velenkosini Hlabisa, on Sunday said they have several outstanding issues with the ANC in the province and in the past, the ruling party was not honest with them.
Hlabisa said voters had rejected the ANC at the polls and they did not want to bring them back via the back door.
The “dishonesty” in the past he was apparently referring to is the period between 1994 and 2004 when the IFP, as part of the national unity project, were compelled to have ANC MECs in its KwaZulu-Natal cabinet. The period was marked by open tension between IFP premiers and ANC MECs who were accused of running a parallel government.
“Let me be upfront, where we will govern as a leading party we will not enter into a coalition with the ANC, because they have not been honest with us in the past. They have let down the people of South Africa and the voters expressed themselves clearly against the ANC,” Hlabisa said.
Listing some of the reasons why they would not work with the ANC, Hlabisa said their relationship is frosty and the ruling party in the province added salt to the wound by renaming the Abaqulusi region (Zululand) as Mzala Nxumalo.
Nxumalo was a nemesis of the founder of the IFP, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi and he wrote the book titled Gatsha, chief with a double agenda. Buthelezi and the IFP claim that the book merely constituted propaganda aimed at discrediting him.
“The national council yesterday sat and took a firm decision that the municipalities where we will be leading, we would not get into co-operation with the ANC. For these reasons: the history of the IFP and the ANC, specifically in KwaZulu-Natal is not good, and during the election campaign many utterances have been said by the ANC to the IFP.
“We need time for the ANC to attend and correct. We have many outstanding issues, we have the issue of Mzala Nxumalo in the Zululand district which the … (ANC) KwaZulu-Natal leadership have flatly refused to correct - the naming of Zululand after Mzala Nxumalo,” Hlabisa said.
On forming coalitions with the ANC, Hlabisa said while they would not work with the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal, that was not the case in other provinces like Gauteng where the IFP is in coalition with the ANC in the City of Johannesburg.
Hlabisa said that was because the circumstances elsewhere are not the same as those in KwaZulu-Natal.
Among the hung municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal are eThekwini, Mhlathuze, Alfred Duma and Newcastle.
The secretary-general of the National Freedom Party (NFP), Canaan Mdletshe, said they have been approached by several parties for talks and they will announce the outcomes in due course.
“We are engaging with various parties but I will not publicly name them for now. So, yes, I can confirm that we are in talks with other parties,” Mdletshe said.
The NFP is hoping to find a suitable partner to help it run eDumbe municipality in northern KwaZulu-Natal.
The chairperson of the EFF in the province, Vusi Khoza said they are still waiting for the national coalition talks committee led by Floyd Shivambu to give them direction.