Two National Freedom Party (NFP) MPs have been suspended for refusing to cooperate with investigators probing the party’s failure to take part in the country’s local government elections earlier this month.
The NFP said Maliyakhe Shelembe and Sicelo Mabika “failed and refused” to cooperate with forensic investigators.
“In order to identify the root causes of such a catastrophic blunder, the NFP has embarked on a process to leave no stone unturned in resolving this matter. In doing so, an investigation has commenced, and the failure by the two members to cooperate with the inquiry is a gross violation and misconduct which cannot be tolerated,” said NFP caucus secretary Munzoor Shaik-Emam on Tuesday.
“In view of the fact that they have chosen to block the investigations resulted in the NFP suspending them with immediate effect. The terms and conditions of their suspension has been clearly outlined and communicated with them in their letters of suspension.”
The NFP, a breakaway from the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), suffered a major blow after it was disqualified by the Independent Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) from taking part in the August 3 local government elections. The party had failed meet the June deadline to pay required registration fees to the IEC. The NFP subsequently called on its supporters to vote for the African National Congress (ANC) in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).
Party leader and deputy minister of Science and Technology Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi had led the party to successful 2014 general elections, which saw the party getting six seats in Parliament. However, the NFP became disorganised after she suffered a stroke in 2014, and was left with no one appointed to lead the party in the interim while she recovered. Her daughter Gugu Gumede delivered the party’s election manifesto on her behalf in Vryheid, KZN, in June as kaMagwaza-Msibi was ill and unable to do so.
– African News Agency (ANA)