Zapu suspends 16 members as infighting gets tense

zapu_logoJOHANNESBURG - In-fighting within the opposition Zapu took a new twist here this week.

The newly-elected South African leadership of the party has finally put its foot down in the ongoing battle for control of the party in the neighbouring country, suspending at least 16 members and shutting them out of primary elections. However, some members of the suspended group told The Zimbabwean this week that they would not rest until members of the newly-elected provincial executive resigned, went to South African jails or ceded power.

The suspended members are the partys chairman for Pretoria district, George Mkhwanazi, who is also the leader of the renegade faction, the partys former head of policy and strategy, Mgidliza Mwelase, former chairman for Lookout Masuku district (Yeoville) Dumisani Matshelela and information and publicity hopeful, Noel Behane, installed by the rebels last month.

Also suspended from the party are Bantubenkosi Sithole, Ian Ncube, Jecho Ncube, Mthukutheli Ndlovu, Nsununguli Mbongolwane, Mbuso Dlodlo and Alice Mutembwa. Regina Sibindi, Inocent Moyo, Sipho Mpofu, Elson Zanza, Fanuel Sibanda and Father Nunu complete the list of members that have been suspended, after the partys national leadership told the South African leadership to act on the rot.

The names have also been reportedly sent to the partys National Executive Committee, which is being led by Zapu president, Dumiso Dabengwa, for further action. After disputing the elections, won by predominantly members of a faction that was previously led by the partys spokesman in the province, Luke Sayi, the digruntled members met to form a renegade structure on April 20, which they immediately circulated to the press.

The suspension letters, some still being served to the members, were signed by the partys newly-elected chairman, Dingilizwe Mpondo on April 13, addressed to the members and copied to the chairman of the partys Council of Elders Professor Jongilanga Matshazi, the partys Secretary General Ralph Mguni and the partys Diaspora Regional Coordinator, referred to only as F. Silundika.

However, the rebels have hit back at the suspensions, saying they would now resort to underhand onslaughts to get their way. We know a lot of dirt about them and we will make sure that they are eventually exposed. They will not rest until they leave those posts.

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