Prank e-mail an effort to ‘divide’

2013-11-25 00:00

ANC “pranksters” circulating an e-mail for the ousting of eThekwini municipal manager Sbu Sithole obviously had more than one message in mind: sowing division and looting the public purse.

This is according to the ANC eThekwini regional treasurer and ward 53 councillor Zandile Gumede, after an alleged campaign by “faceless ANC members” who want Sithole to be replaced by his deputy city manager responsible for community and emergency services, Dr Musa Gumede (no relation). The e-mail purports to be a discussion document of the ANC region accompanied by the rumour that the party is unable to fund its election programmes.

“This prank e-mail is an attempt to sow division in the administration. These individuals intend to get their hands on the public purse,” she said.

But Gumede rubbished the claims, citing that the ANC was not bankrupt. She said the ANC does not work with hard cash; instead sponsors support their programmes. “I’m in a good position to understand the party’s finances. The so-called ‘Change Sithole campaign’ is a tactic to ensure he loses focus.”

Sithole took up the post in 2011, replacing Mike Sutcliffe.

She said the ANC wanted the city manager to clear the municipality of corruption. “Over the years, there were people who turned our council into a scheme to get certain people richer.

“We are not going to entertain such an e-mail. We pride ourselves in the region [with regard to] Sithole’s work. We cannot say we want to clear corruption and then fight with the person tasked with that job.”

Mayoral spokesperson Sthembiso Mshengu said mayor James Nxumalo and Sithole have noted this e-mail. “The paper is viewed as an attempt to create uncertainty in the city and the ANC itself. It’s not factual. The city manager has a five-year contract and is equipped for the task.”

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