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NFP members feel 'cheated' after poll exclusion

The party may not participate in local government elections after being disqualified.

IEC voting station signage. Picture: Ian Bredenkamp/iWN.

CAPE TOWN/JOHANNESBURG - Some members of the National Freedom Party (NFP) say they feel "cheated" as they won't be participating in this year's municipal elections after the party was disqualified.

Supporters barricaded roads entering Ulundi in KwaZulu-Natal yesterday after learning the party hadn't paid its registration fee and could no longer contest next month's poll.

The NFP has over 200 councillors countrywide.

The NFP's Busisiwe Tshabalala says the Zululand district is the five-year-old party's major stronghold.

"Zululand is an NFP municipality. No wonder it seems as if people are angrier in that area."

Rocks and tyres were burnt in the streets yesterday. Tshabalala pointed fingers at senior members who had recently resigned for fuelling tension within the party.

"They are driving it for their own political scores that they want to settle."

At least 28 people have been arrested on charges of public violence. They will appear in the Babanango Magistrates Court today.

The party says it will approach the Constitutional Court to appeal the Independent Electoral Commission's (IEC) decision to disqualify it from the elections.

The election body last month revealed the party could no longer contest the local government elections after failing to pay its registration fee on time.

The NFP had gone to the Electoral Court, claiming it was sabotaged internally but its complaint was dismissed.

The party's acting chairperson Bheki Gumbi says the national executive committee met and resolved to go to the Constitutional Court.

"Our party's legal team is busy putting things together. We are now trying to say to the court that this was done deliberately by an individual."