Friends and foes welcome Shelembe move

2011-06-22 00:00

MSUNDUZI Deputy Mayor Alpha Shelembe, who announced yesterday that he is stepping down, will be replaced during the full sitting of the Pietermaritzburg council on Thursday next week.

Sibusiso Sithole said that since Shelembe is a proportional representation councillor, the ANC will have to amend its list and the next person on that list will be sworn in as a councillor.

Sithole is the provincial administrator appointed by the KZN Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC to oversee the running of the Msunduzi Municipality.

At the next council sitting Shelembe’s party will nominate its candidate for the position and normal voting will take place, Sithole said.

Almost all ANC alliance organisations and political parties represented in the Msunduzi Municipality welcomed Shelembe’s resignation yesterday.

Dumisani Mthalane, national spokesperson for the South African National Civics Organisation (Sanco), which recently joined the call for the disbanding of the ANC regional executive, said Sanco welcomes Shelembe’s move. But, he said, there is still more to be done to force out other members of the regional executive committee (REC) occupying positions in executive committees in various uMgungundlovu municipalities.

“REC members failed to provide leadership, which led to the collapse of Msunduzi Municipality through their interference. The ANC must take them all out as it is clear they deployed themselves to these Exco positions,” Mthalane said.

The Democratic Alliance caucus leader in the municipality, Bill Lambert, welcomed the news, recalling the serious allegations made about Shelembe and his office when he served as the speaker.

“This whole municipality was consumed by infighting and uncertainty. Service delivery was on the backburner and our citizens’ rights … were severely compromised. We can now start to move forward,” Lambert said.

Former Msunduzi deputy mayor Mervyn Dirks, who had been vocal about the REC’s interference in the running of Msunduzi, blamed ANC provincial leader Zweli Mkhize for the “political blunder” of deploying Shelembe.

“I am very pleased that eventually Shelembe saw the light and stepped down. However, it was not at his own will, but was due to pressure from the people of Pietermaritzburg …”

Zet Luzipo, KZN secretary of trade union federation Cosatu, also welcomed the news.

The Inkatha Freedom Party leader in the Msunduzi Municipality, Dolo Zondi, said Shelembe’s exit will help bring back confidence to the capital.

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