ANC councillor faces the chop

2011-01-11 00:00

THE political future of ANC councillor Michael Mlaba of Ward 4 in Vulindlela hangs in the balance after he was arrested and recently appeared in court on attempted murder charges.

Mlaba appeared in court on January 3 after he was alleged to have shot and injured two men — one of whom remains in a critical condition in hospital — during a dispute on October 10 last year. Mlaba allegedly claimed that the shooting was in self defence.

Relatives of the victims declined to speak to The Witness yesterday, saying they had already filed a statement with the police.

Mlaba was elected to Ward 4 last year. He is running for election again this year and is part of a list of candidates that has been put forward to the community.

According to sources in the community who declined to be named, the incident has made Mlaba unpopular with community members, as he was jeered at and openly rejected at a meeting late last year.

“There was a meeting on December 11 in the ward to introduce the candidates to the community, and the community was openly angry at him and they rejected him,” said the source.

The source said the preferred candidate was Mercy Buthelezi, the only female candidate in the Vulindlela area.

“[During a vote], Buthelezi won by a clear four votes’ margin at 76 votes with Mlaba coming second at 72 …”

Even if he is elected as the ward candidate for the local government elections, Mlaba still faces the challenge of being toppled by the ANC if he is convicted of the crime.

The ANC has implemented strict regulations governing the election of candidates. This includes screening individuals to see if they have criminal records.

The ANC Moses Mabhida regional secretary-general Supa Zuma said yesterday that the party will not permit the election of any candidate who has a criminal record.

“Everybody is innocent until proven guilty and that applies to this situation,” said Zuma.

“The party has a long screening process to ensure that all the right people are appointed and anyone with a criminal record will not be allowed to run for councillorship.”

Police Spokesperson Warrant Officer Joey Jeevan confirmed the shooting and said councillor Mlaba had been arrested and appeared in court.

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