Call for ‘honest’ KZN councillors to quit

2011-06-25 18:24

Angry tripartite alliance members in KwaZulu-Natal are demanding that all “honest” councillors in ­Pietermaritzburg resign in support of a clean-up operation in the ­embattled capital.

The group, comprising members from ANC branches, labour federation Cosatu and the SA Communist Party, is scheduled to meet mayor Chris Ndlela this week to put forward its demand and says its call is gaining support in the city’s suburbs and townships.

The call comes as the provincial ANC leadership prepares to discuss the city’s crisis – sparked by the ­appointment of ANC regional treasurer Alpha Shelembe as deputy mayor and the imposition of ­councillors on communities – at a provincial executive committee meeting today and tomorrow.

A provincial task team, which met the group on Wednesday, will report back to the meeting.

The group is calling for Shelembe – who ­appeared in court on arson charges on ­Thursday over the torching of the ANC regional office – to be fired and for the disbanding of the ANC regional executive committee.

Shelembe, who is also facing corruption charges in a separate case, handed himself over to police on Thursday and was released on R3 000 bail after ANC regional chairperson Super Zuma’s driver, Themba Mbona, accused him of being behind the arson attack on the ANC office two weeks ago.

Mbona has been jailed for eight years for his role in the attack and alleged that Shelembe offered him a full-time job and R500 000 to burn the office in order to destroy incriminating documents.

Young Communist League spokesperson Mduduzi Manana said they would meet Ndlela to put forward the demand for the resignation of “honest” councillors.

Manana said: “We are now calling for all councillors in the municipality who are opposed to corruption to take a stance and resign until the ­crisis is resolved.

“We believe that honest councillors cannot simply shade those who are corrupt. There is no way that a turnaround strategy can be implemented by mayor Chris Ndlela and his team as long as the corrupt ­councillors remain in office.”

He said Shelembe’s arrest was not “the end of the matter” and all councillors who were involved in ­corruption should be removed.

The unhappy ANC and alliance members met with the party’s ­national task team dealing with election list-related issues, which was headed by Home Affairs ­Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma last Saturday.

Police sources said this week that they were investigating whether other ANC regional leaders were linked to the arson attack.

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