Fisticuffs in KZN council

2008-07-04 00:00

Pandemonium broke out at the Imbabazane Municipality near Estcort on Thursday when two factions within the IFP-led council fought physically over the municipal manager’s position.

Windows, furniture and computers in the municipal offices were broken during the fracas. There were allegations that shots were fired at police who were called to disperse the fight.

Staff from the auditor-general’s office who were conducting an investigation into the financial affairs of the municipality had to run for cover when the fight broke out.

According to sources, both factions wanted to have their candidate appointed as municipal manager. They said one of the candidates is a local woman, while the other, a man, is not from the Imbabazane area. Sources alleged that the man’s faction went to the municipality offices demanding he be appointed as a municipal manager.

A councillor who wished to remain anonymous said that during the scuffle photos of government leaders such as President Thabo Mbeki, Premier S’bu Ndebele and Local Government MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu were removed and replaced by those of IFP leaders.

"The municipality is in a financial crisis and although the fight was about the municipal manager’s position, there were indications that some of the people involved in the fighting were trying to hide some papers from the staff from the auditor-general’s office who were there at the time. Documents were destroyed and files lay on the floor," said the councillor.

DA councillor Sandile Ndlovu said the IFP in the municipality is split and the fight was the result of the two factions not agreeing on who should be appointed as the municipal manager.

When contacted by Weekend Witness, Mayor Hlanganani Dlamini played down the incident, denying that a fight took place.

"People who were unsatisfied about the work of their councillors came and raised their concerns. We were not fighting. The people were protesting and when the police arrived to monitor the protest, people panicked and as they ran furniture, windows and other things were broken," said Dlamini.

Mabuyakhulu’s spokesman, Lennox Mabaso, said yesterday that the ministry views the latest developments in a serious light and has begun an investigation.

"We do note that in terms of the applicable local government legislation, there is no provision for the appointment of two individuals in a position that should be occupied by one qualifying incumbent," said Mabaso.

He said should the allegations be found to be true those responsible will be held accountable.

Police spokesman Superintendent Vincent Mdunge confirmed that the fight was over a position in the municipality.

He said it appeared the public were incited to remove the employee who had already started work in the manager’s position.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.