Opposition irritated as Mervyn Dirks cancels Exco meeting

2009-03-06 00:00

Msunduzi Deputy Mayor Mervyn Dirks, who was chairing the council’s finance committee and the executive committee (Exco) meeting yesterday, cancelled both meetings when finance division officials failed to arrive.

The decision to cancel the meetings infuriated the opposition parties, the DA and the IFP, who accused the ANC of arrogance.

They asked Dirks to wait for a few minutes to see if the officials would arrive. DA council caucus leader councillor Bill Lambert said the cancellation was “outrageous and totally uncalled for”.

He said Exco meetings never start at the scheduled time because previously the ANC caucussed before each meeting and it invariably commenced at least half an hour late.

“Today, without any warning, there was no ANC caucus, and because the finance division was unaware of the change, they were not present at the scheduled beginning.

“In a fit of pique and despite protestations and attempted interventions, the deputy mayor as chairperson abruptly walked out,” said Lambert.

“This is arrogance of the worst possible kind and demonstrates clear contempt for the voters and residents of the city,” said Lambert.

ANC councillor Themba Zungu said the ANC will not answer to the DA because it is the ruling party.

The IFP’s Dolo Zondi asked the deputy mayor to not be hasty in cancelling the meeting because the ANC has set a precedent of starting meetings late.

But Dirks said Exco should not be undermined by officials. He told The Witness that ANC caucuses have been moved to Wednesdays so that Exco and the finance committee meetings can start early the following day. He said the officials start work at 8 am and know that these meetings start at 10 am.

He said Exco cannot wait 30 minutes for officials who know they were supposed to be at the meeting.

“The entire finance division was not there. We need to conduct ourselves in a businesslike manner. We will not tolerate the behaviour shown by officials today,” said Dirks.

thandom@witness.co.za

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