Durban - In anticipation that there will be infighting and a rise in factionalism and opportunism within its ranks after its share of municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal grew significantly after Monday’s voting, the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) says it will remain vigilant.
The party says it is aware that its success at the local government elections where they snatched most municipalities in the north of the province was going to attract rogue elements looking for a safe political haven, political positions and even tenders.
Among the municipalities the party has won with outright majority include Abaqulusi (Vryheid), Pongola, Nongoma, Ulundi, Jozini, Mtubatuba and districts including Zululand, Mzinyathi, Uthukela and Umkhanyakude.
In an interview with Independent Media at the KwaZulu-Natal IEC results centre in Durban on Wednesday, the party’s treasurer, Narend Singh, said they have even considered expanding the political oversight committee chaired by Inkosi Russel Cebekhulu.
The committee is tasked with oversight over all municipalities where the IFP is in charge. It is only mandated to deal with members’ issues, not with how the municipality is run.
“We are going to deal with anybody, including an IFP member for the last 30 years, that goes out of line. We are very serious about that this time around because we have seen how others got out of line and how they have paid the price for being out of line. So, we are going to be very strict in terms of how our political oversight committee, which is chaired by Inkosi Cebekhulu. In fact, I think we will have to beef it up,” he said, adding that they may even enlist outside support to get this done.
Singh said there are already signs that even rogue business people are trying to infiltrate the IFP, and they are also vigilant in that regard. He made an example whereby he started receiving sudden calls from business people saying they want “to work with us.”
“I think in any political party, you will get opportunists who will be looking at what tender can I get, how can I influence this. I am actually getting calls from some people who haven’t spoken to me for years, saying that, listen, we are available to talk, can we have tea? Can we do this?” he said.
He also assured the people of KwaZulu-Natal they have learnt from the past on how to deliver services to people in a province where the ruling party is in charge of the provincial government and sometimes proving to be a hurdle.