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Desperate, power-hungry NFP boss could make or break GNU

  • Irvin Barnes, leader of the National Freedom Party (NFP), holds a crucial tie-breaker vote in the hung KwaZulu-Natal legislature, making his party a kingmaker.
  • Barnes, with no position himself, is negotiating powerful positions, recently meeting with both the IFP and Jacob Zuma’s MK party to decide the ruling coalition.

Not many people have heard the name Irvin Barnes, but he suddenly holds the future of South Africa in his hands.

Barnes is the leader of the little-known National Freedom Party (NFP), which broke away from the IFP in 2011.

His party holds one seat in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature and could decide whether the MK party or the IFP-led coalition rules the province.

With this one seat, the NFP has emerged as the kingmaker party, and Barnes hopes to secure some powerful positions for his tie-breaker vote.

Barnes, the sole negotiator for the NFP, was number one on its candidate list for the National Assembly, but the party did not win a seat there.

He is also not eligible for a seat in the KZN legislature because the seat there is occupied by Mbali Shinga, who was number one on the NFP’s candidate list for KZN.

And so, with all that power of the NFP, Barnes has no position and is not even a mayor.

The KZN legislature is hung between the two coalitions of the MK party and EFF on the one hand and the IFP, ANC and DA on the other.

The NFP’s single seat is the tiebreaker.

Earlier this week, Barnes met with the IFP and made demands that the IFP said it could not meet.

On Wednesday morning, he met the ANC, IFP and the DA and agreed that the NFP would vote with this coalition at the KZN legislature.

However, on the same day, Barnes met with Jacob Zuma and the MK party leadership, who offered him the position of premier of KZN.

But Barnes is not eligible for a seat in the legislature.

His demands to the IFP unmask him as a desperate man urgently needing a power position.

An IFP leader who didn’t want to be named told Scrolla.Africa that Barnes demanded the IFP hand over the mayorship of the Zululand district municipality in northern KZN and the uThukela district municipality in the KZN midlands to the NFP.

“We reached an agreement to work together with them, but we didn’t agree on his demands,” he said.

“Instead, we told him that these negotiations are solely for the provincial government, which have nothing to do with the local government.”

The meeting was held after Barnes met Umkhonto Wesizwe party president Jacob Zuma earlier on Wednesday.

The ANC has a long-running partnership with the NFP and significantly influences the party.

Already, the NFP holds the position of deputy mayor of the ANC-led eThekwini metro.

It also holds mayoral positions in eDumbe and Nongoma local municipalities, where it co-governs with the ANC.

Pictured above: IFP premier candidate Thami Ntuli shakes hands with NFP leader Irvin Barnes to seal the GNU deal.

Source: X