Deputy mayor and speaker appointed

2011-06-30 00:00

A NEW deputy mayor and speaker of Msunduzi Municipality were appointed yesterday.

However, the council is silent on who will be the council chief whip.

During a full council meeting former chief whip Thobani Zuma was sworn in as the deputy mayor to replace Alpha Shelembe, who resigned last week.

Babu Baijoo, an executive committee (Exco) member who served as speaker under former mayor Mike Tarr, replaced Zonke Mbatha, who resigned as speaker to become an ordinary councillor. She had come under pressure to vacate the position from ANC activists who have been staging a four-week sit-in at the ANC Moses Mabhida offices.

Baijoo said, “I am grateful to the ANC for deploying me to this position for the second term. I will ensure that as the speaker I will work with council and the provincial intervention team to stabilise our municipality.”

He said Msunduzi has a good team that, if given enough support from businesses and the community at large, will be able to make the city functional once again with the potential to attract investment.

Zuma said he has been working for the community as a ward councillor in the rural areas since 1996 and he knows the challenges that are faced by ward councillors. “

I have gathered enough experience working as a ward councillor that will come in handy in my new position as a deputy mayor,” he said.

He said he is looking forward to the challenges that are always present in political life. One of these is to stabilise the municipality, which is still under administration, so that it can deliver more to the people of Msunduzi.

The announcement of the new chief whip will take place at the next full council meeting, according to inside sources.

Bill Lambert, Democratic Alliance caucus leader, welcomed the appointment of Baijoo speaker.

“We hope you are going to continue to be the fair leader that you were when you held the position of speaker,” he said.

He told Zuma he hopes he will rise to the occasion and meet the challenges that come with his office.

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