uMlalazi: new Mayor might be out

2011-06-03 00:00

THE newly elected Inkatha Freedom Party mayor of uMlalazi Municipality in Eshowe, Stan Larkan, and other office-bearers in the municipality stand to lose their new positions.

This follows an about-turn by National Freedom Party councillors who helped propel them to power during the inauguration of the council on Wednesday.

NFP councillors in uMlalazi defied the party’s coalition pact with the ANC and struck a deal with the IFP instead.

As a result Larkan and another IFP councillor, Queen Xulu, were sworn in as mayor and speaker respectively at the inauguration on Wednesday.

NFP councillor Mduduzi Xulu was elected deputy mayor.

This comes despite an arrangement between the NFP and the ANC that the ANC would get the speaker and the mayoral positions while the NFP would get the deputy mayor and the chief whip positions.

During the May 18 elections the ANC received 24 seats, IFP 18, NFP nine and DA one.

After being summoned to the NFP head office in Durban yesterday, the NFP councillors were singing a different tune as they apologised and offered to “follow the legislated procedures, correct the situation and clear up” the mess created by their action.

In a statement issued by the NFP’s uMlalazi constituency, the councillors “unequivocally and sincerely expressed their apology” to the NFP leadership, the national working committee and the NFP voters for the confusion created.

“We want to assure the NFP leadership and all concerned of our genuine commitment …” and said they were “prepared to follow the legislated procedures to correct the situation,” the statement said.

NFP spokesperson Zanele Cele said the party is meeting the Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department to seek advice on options available to them to rectify their “mistake”.

The re-run of election of office-bearers can only be held if the council successfully passes a vote of no confidence against the current office-bearers.

There are fears that the agreement might encounter a similar fate at three municipalities under uThukela District — Umtshezi, Imbabazane and Okhahlamba — after reported dissatisfaction from councillors over the agreement.

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