Alliance partners to march against Shelembe

2011-06-17 00:00

MSUNDUZI Deputy Mayor Alpha Shelembe and members of the Moses Mabhida regional executive committee (REC) face mounting resistance from the ANC alliance partners who want them out. They call on the local REC to disband and step down as councillors.

Labour federation Cosatu and the local branch of the South African Communist Party (SACP) have organised a protest march in the city centre today against the REC.

Marchers will gather at Dales Park from 9 am to noon and proceed down Mayor’s Walk into Hoosen Haffejee Street, turn right into West Street, then left down Langalibalele Street.

The marchers will stop at the KZN Legislature to hand over a memorandum to the speaker of the KZN Legislature, Peggy Nkonyeni.

They will then proceed to the City Hall to hand over a second memorandum to Msunduzi Mayor Chris Ndlela.

Cosatu local secretary Zimasile Giyana said members of the REC, like Shelembe, were in the leadership at Msunduzi when it was placed under administration. He said it makes no sense that they were brought back to have oversight of the municipality.

He said Ndlela, who is also the provincial chairperson of Cosatu, is considered the number one shop steward in the province. As mayor he therefore needs a team that will advance the cause of good governance and not anybody who has been tainted by the poor administration of the past.

Matthews Ndlovu of the SACP said they want the regional leadership disbanded and a review of the positions within the executive committees of local councils in the uMgungundlovu district.

“It’s no use wanting to clean up municipalities but keeping on the same people within the structures,” he said.

Both Giyana and Ndlovu said they are expecting a large turnout at today’s march.

Ndlovu said members had been going around informing communities of the march.

“This is the beginning of rolling mass action …” he added.

Brian Zuma of the municipality said the march will cause some traffic disruption. He appealed to motorists to be patient and use alternative routes.

Zuma said traffic police will be on hand to manage the traffic and that the march is expected to end at 3 pm. The municipality will put contingency plans into action should services be disrupted.

The South African Police Force has said in a statement that sufficient manpower will be deployed in the city during the march and that control measures will be put in place to ensure the safety of marchers and the community.

There will be road closures from noon around Dales Park, West Street and Chief Albert Luthuli and Langalibalele streets.

• The police have meanwhile confirmed that investigations into the fire at the ANC REC offices are ongoing and that more arrests are expected, but at this stage information cannot be divulged so as not to compromise the investigation.

On Wednesday arsonist Themba Mbona fingered Shelembe as the person who offered him a bribe to set fire to an office in the building.

Mbona pleaded guilty and was sentenced to eight years imprisonment, with three suspended for five years.

Yesterday ANC insiders said they believe it was information supplied to the police by ANC members that led to Mbona’s arrest and confession.

Apparently shortly after the fire had been started, a car was seen hurriedly leaving the scene. The two occupants had allegedly behaved suspiciously and somebody had taken down the number plate which was given to the police.

Local ANC members say the party is in a crisis in the region and that emergency meetings were being held yesterday to find a way forward.

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