NFP leader Ivan Barnes sworn in as a councillor in Zululand municipality

National Freedom Party (NFP) president Ivan Barnes has been appointed a councillor in the Zululand District Municipality and is reportedly set to become its mayor. 

Barnes was reportedly sworn in recently is expected to replace reverend Thulasizwe Buthelezi from the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP). 


The NFP emerged as the kingmaker in KwaZulu-Natal as no political party achieved an outright majority in the 29 May polls. 

The IFP which received the second highest votes in the province formed a government of provincial unity with the Democratic Alliance (DA), the NFP and the African National Congress (ANC).

Scrolla Africa reported that the NFP demanded the IFP give them the Zululand and uThukela district municipalities in exchange for their vote to support Thami Ntuli’s election as KZN premier. 

The publication further reported that during negotiations with the NFP, the IFP rejected the party’s request to be given the two district municipalities. 

The IFP emphasised that the talks were not about local government but the national and provincial spheres.

NFP leader Ivan Barnes is reportedly gunning for the position of Zululand District Municipality mayor as the IFP’s reverend Thulasizwe Buthelezi resigned and is now serving as Cogta MEC in the province. Image: X/Sihle Mavuso


The new members of the executive council were announced after Ntuli’s swearing-in ceremony at the Woodburn Rugby Stadium in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday, 18 June as follows:

  • Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs – Reverend Musa Keith Zondi. He left the IFP in 2011 after claims that he was being targeted by assassins, made a surprise return to his former political home when he was included in its national council in 2023.
  • Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) – Reverend Thulasizwe Dominic Buthelezi. He recently resigned as the mayor of Zululand district municipality and also serves at the Traditional Prime Minister in the Zulu monarchy.
  • Health – Nomagugu Simelane. The ANC KZN deputy chairperson has retained her position in the health portfolio.
  • Social Development – Mbali Cynthia Shinga. The NFP member previously served in the Education Committee (Kwazulu-Natal-Provincial-Legislature-Committee)
  • Public Works and Infrastructure – Lukas Marthinus Meyer. The DA member served as a councillor in eThekwini from 2011 to 2019 prior to joining the KZN Provincial Legislature.
  • Finance – Francoise Adrianus Rodgers. The DA KZN leader has been a public representative for over 25 years.
  • Agriculture and Rural Development – Thembeni Petty kaMadlopha-Mthethwa.
  • Transport and Human Settlements – Siboniso Amstrong Duma
  • Education – Siphosihle Emmanuel Hlomuka. The ANC KZN deputy secretary previously served as the MEC for Cogta and Transport, Community Safety and Liaison.
  • Sport, Arts and Culture – Mntomuhle Khawula. The IFP member previously served on the Ad Hoc Committee on Investigations (Kwazulu-Natal-Provincial-Legislature-Committee).

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