Marred in the electoral radar: National Freedom Party, political avarice and the pitfalls of a patron-based party
Mngomezulu, Bheki R.
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As a norm, the formation of political parties constitutes one of the many segments in the consolidation of democracy in modern politics. Invariably, there are different typologies of political parties. The choice of each type is informed by a confluence of factors. Each of these types of political parties has its own characteristic features. Within this context, this paper, focuses on one of the new political parties in South Africa, the National Freedom Party (NFP). The main purpose of this article is to discuss the tenets, as well as the pros and cons of patron-based political parties using the NFP, as an example. The article looks at how the party was established, how it has performed in different elections, the intraparty challenges it has wrestled with and how it resolved them. Using a qualitative approach, the article takes a closer look at the developments that took place in the NFP before the 2016 Local Government Election (LGE). Based on the enumerated chain of events, it assesses the party's prospects for recovery. Lastly, the article avers that the NFP's demise or resurrection will depend on how it cleanses itself, following internal squabbles, after the incapacitation of its leader.