National Freedom Party leader, Zanele Magwaza-Msibi has died.
She passed away in a hospital in Umhlanga, north of Durban in the early hours of Monday, 06 September.
According to the party spokesman, Canaan Mdletshe, Magwaza-Msibi succumbed to cardiac arrest.
“I can confirm that the party leader has died. She was in the hospital and the doctors tried all they could to manage her life but unfortunately, she succumbed to cardiac arrest,” said Mdletshe.
He said the party members were devastated by Magwaza-Msibi’s sudden passing.
“Most of them were calling me literally crying. Losing a leader is very devastating,” said Mdletshe.
He said they had many plans pertaining to the campaigns of the upcoming local government elections with Magwaza-Msibi.
“We had planned that we were going to kick off our campaigns in two weeks’ time that she was going to be part of, but unfortunately God had another plan,” said Mdletshe.
Magwaza-Msibi launched NFP on 25 January 2011.
Before the birth of the NFP, Magwaza-Msibi was a chairperson of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP).
In the 2011 municipal election, the NFP received 2.4% of the votes cast in South Africa and 10.4% of the votes cast in KwaZulu-Natal province.
It won a majority of seats in the eDumbe Local Municipality and a plurality in Nongoma Local Municipality.
Following the 2014 South African general election, the party’s leader Magwaza-Msibi was appointed to the position of Deputy Minister of Science and Technology.
The party was disqualified from participating in the 2016 municipal election as it had failed to pay the election fee to the Independent Electoral Commission.
The party contested the 2019 general elections and its support levels dropped.
The party lost four seats in the National Assembly, bringing their seat total to only two seats.
In KwaZulu-Natal, the party’s support was greatly diminished.
The party had lost five seats in the provincial legislature but managed to win a single seat.
Magwaza-Msibi was not reappointed to cabinet and resigned as an MP on 20 June 2019, citing her intention to rebuild the party.
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