Amajuba: IFP mayor retains his seat

2010-01-29 00:00

A NEW council speaker for Amajuba District Municipality in Newcastle was elected yesterday, and district Mayor Mkhulu Mlangeni, a representative of the Inkatha Freedom Party, retained his mayoral seat.

The Royal Loyal Progressive Party’s Ntsimbini Joseph Zulu was voted in to replace slain Federal Congress councillor Thenjiwe Buthelezi. He was also voted in as speaker, replacing the Democratic Alliance’s Peter Croft.

Buthelezi was gunned down at her home two days before a meeting, scheduled for last Tuesday, to pass a motion of no confidence against Croft.

Buthelezi was the council member considered to hold the crucial swing vote that could tip the scales in favour of the ANC.

Pietermaritzburg high court Judge Trevor Gorven had instructed the Amajuba District Council to convene yesterday to consider a vote of no confidence in Croft and to take measures to ensure there there is no manipulation of the vote.

A court official attended the meeting to monitor the voting process.

After the voting, the court official left the meeting against the wishes of ANC members.

According to sources close to the voting, the official said he had been sent to the meeting to monitor the voting process only, and that he was satisfied with the process.

District Mayor Mlangeni said that after the official had left, ANC members produced a letter from the attorneys of the MEC for Local Government and Traditional Affairs, Nomusa Dube, and the Newcastle municipality, objecting to yesterday’s meeting. The letter was submitted to the high court in Pietermaritzburg in a bid to nullify the outcome of the meeting.

Mlangeni said the MEC was trying to delay yesterday’s election as a ploy to take the municipality away from the IFP.

He said there were council matters such as budgetary adjustments and financial statements to deal with, and failing to deal with these would result in the MEC declaring the council dysfunctional.

“The MEC had suggested that this meeting be convened on February 7, but we said no. We have statutory executive obligations to deal with and failure to meet these would lead to the dissolution of the council.”

Section 139 of the Constitution provides for the intervention of the province in a municipality by issuing directives and, on prescribed grounds, by acting in the place of the municipal council to execute unfulfilled obligations.


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