DA councillor gagged in Exco meeting

2014-06-06 00:00

A DA councillor found herself unexpectedly gagged at an Executive Committee (Exco) meeting at Msunduzi City Hall yesterday.

The DA had elected Judy Lawrence to take the place of Mergan Chetty who has gone to represent the DA at the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).

However, Lawrence, who attended her first Exco meeting yesterday, found herself gagged half way through the meeting.

She had spoken earlier commenting on an item in the internal audit report.

An official had reported to the audit committee that the stock of new meters — it was unspecified what type of meters — had expired and when they approached the company that sells the meters to the municipality, they discovered that the firm had closed for the Christmas holiday.

Lawrence said the officials should learn that many companies that supply goods to the municipality close over the December period and said they needed to plan their buying.

Later, during the meeting Lawrence put her microphone’s light on indicating that she wanted to ask a question on the final internal audit report on the handling of the indigent policy last year.

But municipal manager Mxolisi Nkosi then pointed out to Exco that Lawrence could not formally participate in proceedings in terms of council’s rules of order, which state that an appointment to Exco had to be tabled at full council.

He noted that this had not yet happened and Lawrence could not ask her question.

The overall audit opinion on the way the indigent policy was managed from September 2012 to 2013 was that the controls were inadequate.

Earlier in proceedings, mayor Chris Ndlela had asked Lawrence whether the DA had found a replacement for Chetty’s position on the full council.

As Chetty was a proportional representative councillor, there is no by-election and it is up to the party to provide a candidate for endorsement by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).

Member of the Provincial Legislature Mark Steele said that the DA selection panel will meet to approve a candidate.

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