n Journal of Public Administration - Inkatha Freedom Party - National Freedom Party dynamics in the Kwazulu-Natal Province

Special issue 1
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



This article explores the internal dynamics within the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) which led to the formation of the breakaway party, the National Freedom Party (NFP) on the eve of the fourth local government elections on 18 May 2011. It is argued that the internal ructions within the IFP which resulted in the formation of the NFP cannot be understood without casting a look back at the causes and the way in which these contributed to the continued decline of the IFP as a political factor not only nationally but even in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) where it had emerged as the largest political party in the December 5, 2000 local government elections and where it was the ruling party from 1994 to 2004. It is further argued that it is with some understanding of internal IFP political dynamics that we may best appreciate resistance to the NFP leadership decisions soon after it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the ANC to cogovern the nineteen hung municipalities in KZN. The article then focuses on the implications of the sterling performance of the NFP, which was only three months old when it participated in these elections. It is shown that it did not only make significant in-roads into the strongholds of the IFP but it emerged as the third largest party after the African National Congress (ANC) and the IFP and outshone the country's official opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA) which came fourth. The article suggests that both the IFP and the NFP will face serious future challenges which will require that they restructure themselves in ways which will appeal to modern political constituencies.

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