‘It wasn’t us’ — mayors deny trashing B&Bs

2012-01-13 00:00

THE mayor and the deputy mayor of Umtshezi municipality said yesterday they were not party to the alleged damage done to two guesthouses in Ballito last month.

The Witness reported this week that officials from the municipality, including the mayor and deputy mayor, were booked into the Dolphin Rock and The Guesthouse for the Kwanaloga (KwaZulu-Natal local government association) games.

It was alleged that some of the officials racked up thousands of rand in accommodation costs and damage to property, after they brought more people than were originally booked

Mayor Bongani Dlamini (ANC) said he was surprised by the reports, as he had not slept at either guesthouse.

“I stayed at the Riverside Hotel and I intend to challenge these claims.”

He said they were aware that some people had demanded to stay at the guesthouses on the municipality’s expense. “At this stage we are waiting for a report from the sports committee and we will take the matter from there.

“I still maintain that the guesthouse owners neglected their responsibility. If they saw that more people than booked had shown up, they should have sought legal recourse like calling the police because that was trespassing.”

Deputy mayor Bhekithemba Dlamini (NFP) said: “We arrived at night and we felt very unwelcome. Because I did not have a choice I slept there and the following morning I left to find other accommodation.”

Maliyakhe Shelembe, a leader of the NFP in that area, said the party would not tolerate bad behaviour from officials and would act if any evidence that the deputy mayor had misbehaved was presented.

“The fact that the owners say furniture was broken raises the question about the conduct of the officials. What were they doing breaking the beds or were they drunk?”

Councillor Edith Lite who was accused of changing the bookings and being rude, declined to comment.

She said the matter was being dealt with by the municipality.

Attempts to contact the ANC in the region were unsuccessful.

Austen Smith of The Guesthouse insisted that the municipal officials were misbehaving.

He said he was also made aware that the mayor had not been one of those staying in the accommodation.

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