After all said and done, it has been confirmed that the National Freedom Party (NFP) will not be contesting in the August 3 local government elections.
The final decision was made by the electoral commission IEC over the weekend to dismiss the party’s bid to be included on the ballot paper‚ after missing the payment deadline.
TheNational Freedom party approached the Electoral Court last week explaining how treasurer Xolani Ndlovu‚ in what the party called an “administrative error”‚ misinterpreted the deadline provided by the IEC to pay the R90‚000 deposit to qualify for the polls.
The efforts made by the NFP has proven abortive as IEC on Monday said the court had dismissed the matter. The order which was issued on Saturday was not mentioned at a press briefing the NFP held in Durban on Sunday. Howerver, the party said it decided to suspend deputy chairman Scelo Mabika and Ndlovu.
The court’s decision means that the party will have no representation at local government elections ahead of the next general election in 2019.
The already embattled National Freedom Party is still trying to recover from internal issues and now this. The country’s fifth-biggest political party‚ whose leader Zanele Magwaza-Msibi has been missing in action for more than a year after falling ill. This created a vacuum in the party leading to divisions.
Also, this past weekend saw two senior party members- secretary-general Nhlanhla Khubisa and national chairman Maliyakhe Shelembe‚ resign from the NFP.
The NFP which was formed from the Inkatha Freedom Party may never recover from this set back. And to worsen the matter is the fact that their house is not in order with members resigning or being suspended.
In 2011‚ the NFP won 644‚917 votes‚ giving it more than 200 councillors‚ mainly in KwaZulu-Natal.
The party has vowed to take the matter all the way to the Constitutional Court in a bid to get a spot at the polls.