NFP supporters turn down PR councillor

2011-05-31 00:00

THE inauguraiton of the Mkhambathini municipal council was thrown into disarray yesterday when National Freedom Party supporters asked municipal manager Devan Pillay to remove Mamsi Lembethe as its proportional representative (PR) councillor, saying they never nominated her.

The drama started when Pillay called on all the newly elected ward and PR councillors to come up and introduce themselves to local residents during a council meeting being held at Camperdown Primary School hall.

Pillay asked Lembethe to step down from the stage as her name had not appeared in the Government Gazette as one of the newly elected councillors.

In the local government election Lembethe was number two on the NFP’s PR list in the Mkhambathini Municipality while the late Elias Dube was placed at number one in the municipality.

After Dube was murdered the Independent Electoral Commission had to declare a vacancy for the NFP to submit a new list to clarify who would fill Dube’s position.

Ntokozo Bhengu, NFP chairperson in Umgungundlovu District, said they are still waiting for the IEC to declare a vacancy so his party can submit a new list.

The NFP supporters who came from Dube’s ward two, which received a majority of NFP votes, refused to have Lembethe as Dube’s replacement.

They said that they prefer Falakhe Dube, Elias’s son, to replace his father because he campaigned for the party after his father’s murder.

Said an angry NFP supporter, “We are going to speak to [NFP president] Zanele Magwaza-Msibi if we have to ensure that nobody except for Falakhe becomes a PR councillor for our party in this municipality.”

After the event the meeting went on as scheduled and Tholakele Maphumulo retained her position as mayor.

Eric Ngcongo, the previous deputy mayor, was nominated speaker and Thulani Mkhize becomes the deputy mayor.

Maphumulo said all the elected councillors must focus on serving the community and forget about which political organisation they represent.

Maphumulo called on the opposition to work with the ruling party to fast-track service delivery.

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