IFP picks up ward from rival
While the ANC retain most of the wards in the by-elections contested, the Inkatha Freedom Party gains the most.
While the African National Congress (ANC) retained most of the wards in the by-elections contested on Wednesday, the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) gained the most, wrestling a ward from its splinter party and archrival, the National Freedom Party (NFP).
The NFP lost ward eight of the UPhongolo municipality, in northern KwaZulu-Natal to the IFP.
The IFP candidate, Mbhekiseni Cyprian Nkumane, beat the NFP’s Mpisiyakhe Excellent Nkosi by 18 votes to win the ward with 628 votes.
The NFP, which was founded by the IFP’s former chairwoman Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi, won the ward in the municipal elections in May last year, only a few months after the party was established.
However, the result announced yesterday was a good showing for the IFP, whose support under long-time leader Mangosutho Buthelezi has been steadily declining, particularly after President Jacob Zuma ascended to the helm of the ANC in 2007. The party was also rocked by divisions that led to the formation of the NFP.
The 13 by-elections took place in the Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpuma-langa, the Northern Cape and the Western Cape.
The ANC retained eight wards, the DA retained three wards in the Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape, and increased its share of votes.