Maphumulo: wife resigns over husband's spat with MEC

2011-10-25 00:00

AN ALLEGED power struggle between inkosi Nhlakanipho Maphumulo of the Maphumulo clan in Maqongqo and Social Development MEC Meshack Radebe is behind the recent resignation of Maphumulo’s wife from the department.

The Maqongqo community outside Pietermaritzburg is split between support for the MEC and the inkosi.

Some community members feel Radebe has disrespected Maphumulo by questioning his leadership and because the MEC does not want mud houses built next to his R4,5 million mansion in the impoverished area.

The MEC’s arrival in Maqongqo raised the community’s hopes for vigorous development, which has become uncertain since the squabble.

Maphumulo claims he was verbally attacked by Radebe for allocating sites to community members without contacting the MEC, who he says threatened to withhold the department’s services.

His wife, Phumelele Maphumulo, told The Witness the situation has left her with no choice but to resign as the department’s administration clerk.

Maphumulo said he doesn’t know what the MEC wants from him.

“You can’t come to the area and dictate what happens. When you are also a member of the community there are rules to be followed,” he said.

Ward councillor Hlahla Zondo said they have submitted a letter of grievances to the Moses Mabhida regional office and the province about Radebe.

The MEC could not be reached for comment as his cellphone was off.

Department spokesperson Mandla Ngema said the MEC does not want to involve the media and wants to discuss this matter with the Maphumulos. ANC provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala said they are dealing with the matter, but declined to elaborate.

• mlondi.radebe@witness.co.za

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