ANC makes changes in Eastern Cape ‘to meet elections targets’

2015-06-07 07:03
Zukiswa Ncitha has been removed as Buffalo City mayor. Picture: Carlie Norval/Foto24

Zukiswa Ncitha has been removed as Buffalo City mayor. Picture: Carlie Norval/Foto24

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East London - The African National Congress is pulling out all the stops to ensure it retains the Eastern Cape’s two metros, Nelson Mandela Bay and Buffalo City, after next year’s local government elections.

In just two weeks since the appointment of Safa president Danny Jordaan as mayor of the Nelson Mandela Metro, the ANC has implemented a similar intervention at the troubled Buffalo City metro, by replacing mayor Zukiswa Ncitha and her deputy Temba Tinta.

Both Ncitha and Tinta are seen as liabilities following their alleged involvement in the controversial Nelson Mandela memorial funeral scandal, where R5,9 million meant for memorial service events for the late former president was misappropriated.

Former ANC MPL Alfred Mtsi is now the new mayor of Buffalo City and unionist Xola Phakathi is his deputy.

Ncitha, Tinta, council speaker Luleka Simon-Ndzele, senior ANC councillor Sindisiwe Gomba and regional secretary Phumlani Mkolo, along with various other business people are accused of fraud and money laundering.

On Friday the provincial ANC leadership announced the changes in Buffalo City at a press conference held at the party’s headquarters, Calata House.

The announcement followed weeks of consultations in the Buffalo City region which saw the ANC deputy secretary-general, Jessie Duarte, leading a delegation of national executive committee members including cooperative governance minister Pravin Gordhan, in an intervention to stabilise the metro.

ANC provincial secretary Oscar Mabuyane said the ANC’s intervention was both political and administrative.

“We are doing this because we want the municipality to fully focus on delivering basic services to our communities, driving economic development, upgrading infrastructure in the municipality.

“Our decision was based on the fact that, if the current situation continues unabated, then it would have made it difficult for the municipality to accomplish targets set in our local government elections manifesto,” Mabuyane said.

Mabuyane said the party had also taken a decision to “immediately intervene” in the metro’s administration, the strongest indication yet that municipal manager, Andile Fani, who has been involved in a power struggle with former mayor Ncitha in recent weeks, is also on the way out.

In April the East London Regional Court dismissed an application to withdraw charges against Buffalo City Municipality’s top leaders after an application by their lawyers citing poor quality of the state’s charge sheet. The matter is due to be heard by a high court in a date still to be set.

The trial was supposed to have started in April.

Read more on:    anc  |  east london  |  local government  |  politics

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