DA man under threat

2015-02-04 00:00

AFTER constantly complaining to Msunduzi’s waste management service, the last thing a local councillor expected was a threat to his life.

Ward 30 Democratic Alliance (DA) councillor Jaiheen Singh received a threatening letter from the Msunduzi Municipality last month after he constantly nagged for garbage to be picked up on Chota Motala Road in Darjeeling Heights.

The letter came in an e-mail from municipal official Bongani Nxele and was written allegedly by a manager from the municipality’s waste management service, signed on the letter as K. Singh.

The last sentence of the letter states that Singh should not “contact [him] anymore or [he’ll send the Peace Officers to deal with [Singh]”.

After the letter was received, Singh contacted Nxele asking about the threat and Nxele’s only reply was in confirming that Nkanyiso Dube, whose name and number are present at the bottom of the letter, is in fact a peace officer.

Singh, worried about his own safety, sent an e-mail to the municipal manager Mxolisa Nkosi highlighting his concerns.

“Mr Mxolisi, it’s responses like these which paint a bad picture of Msunduzi Council by our citizens, which makes a mockery of our CUSTOMER SERVICE CHARTER. As a matter of urgency I suggest that you to look into this matter so it may be resolved amicably, for the sake of service delivery in our city,” the e-mail reads.

Nkosi has not responded to date.

“This is an on-going thing and we are always lodging complaints like this. These are businesses that pay double rates and expect the garbage to be collected,” Singh told The Witness. “I’ve done my part as a councillor but how can municipal officials respond like this?”

The Witness tracked down the garbage truck driver who was referred to as Mr Matiwane in the letter. According to him, the peace officers instruct him on his route and “K. Singh” is his manager.

He added that he usually picks up the garbage from the site mentioned in the complaints but his truck has broken down, along with several other trucks.

“If you drive around town you will see bags not picked up because there are a lot of trucks that have not been fixed,” he said.

Msunduzi Municipality spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha said the supervisor of the people involved is still investigating the issue with the people concerned “as these are serious allegations”.

“Those that have responded seem to have no knowledge of the issue therefore we need to get all parties involved to answer before we can issue a response,” Mafumbatha added.

Mafumbatha failed to specify just how many municipal refuse trucks are currently out of order and if this affects waste pick up in and around the city.

• amil.umraw@witness.co.za

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