NFP head rejects meeting that chose her

07 December 2017 - 07:19 By Nathi Olifant
OUTSPOKEN: NFP deputy national chairman Bheki Gumbi, NFP deputy president Sindi Mashinini-Maphumulo and NFP national chairman Bhungu Gwala at a media briefing in Durban
OUTSPOKEN: NFP deputy national chairman Bheki Gumbi, NFP deputy president Sindi Mashinini-Maphumulo and NFP national chairman Bhungu Gwala at a media briefing in Durban
Image: Thuli Dlamini

Who exactly is running the National Freedom Party?

While the two factions agree that their president is the infirm Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi, she has denounced a new structure that elected her as leader just a few days ago.

A "parallel" structure of the party held a national elective conference in Newcastle at the weekend and elected a top six led by Ka-Magwaza-Msibi as president, Sindi Mashinini-Maphumulo as deputy president, Bhungu Gwala as national chairman, Bheki Gumbi as deputy national chairman, Nobahle Magqabi as secretary-general and Christopher Sibisi as deputy secretary-general.

On Wednesday, the newly-elected officials held a press briefing at the party offices in Durban. But the Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, who has struggled with her health since suffering a stroke in November 2014, did not attend the elective conference and neither did current party deputy president Alex Kekana.

KaMagwaza-Msibi has since denounced the conference and distanced herself from it.

Mashinini-Maphumulo said the conference had been held following the KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng provincial general conferences, both held in a space of two weeks - something she said was "history in the making" as no other party had achieved that before.

Asked if KaMagwaza-Msibi had sanctioned and endorsed the conference, Mashinini-Maphumulo said, according to the party constitution, she did not have to, but it was a party national executive committee prerogative.

"The deputy president, Mr Alex Kekana, was aware of the conference and he signed on the dates of the first and second of December. He did not attend due to death in the family," she said. Attempts to reach Kekana were unsuccessful.

Denouncing the elective conference on Monday, KaMagwaza-Msibi said it was imperative for the public to note that no conference of the NFP took place.

She said the party was busy with processes to inaugurate and audit branches to make them legitimate.

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