IFP: Shelembe presides as mayor, despite ouster

2010-07-08 00:00

IT was council business as usual yesterday for uMtshezi Mayor Maliyakhe Shelembe, although he was ousted from the mayoral position by the IFP’s political oversite committee (POC) more than a week ago.

The Witness was reliably informed yesterday that Shelembe attended the special sitting of the uMtshezi Municipality in his capacity as the mayor .

In a letter to Shelembe last Tuesday, the POC ordered him to step down and become an ordinary councillor. He was given seven days to respond to the call, which expired on Tuesday.

Another IFP mayor, Vikizitha Richard Mlotshwa of Okhahlamba, was expelled the same day.

In an interview with The Witness yesterday, an ANC councillor in uMtshezi Municipality, Phiwokwakhe Sokhela, confirmed that Shelembe was at the meeting in his capacity as the mayor.

“At the council meeting, we discussed normal issues put on the agenda such as the overdraft, electricity tarrifs and re-zoning of the area.

“During the sitting today, as the ANC we raised the issue as we had seen it in newspapers, but they just dismissed us and said they also saw it in the media,” Sokhela said.

On Tuesday and again yesterday, Shelembe did not answer his phone to confirm whether he has stepped down or what his next move will be.

In an interview with The Witness earlier, Shelembe said he is going to get the views of the people who voted him in before making any move.

During the IFP’s KZN provincial conference, Shelembe received a hero’s welcome from some delegates.

He was hoisted shoulder-high and delegates sang his praises as he alighted from his blue Audi A6.

Shelembe, who was recently elected as the chairperson of uThukela IFP district during the disputed elective conference, denied reports that he has asked other councillors in uThukela to resign en masse in protest against his sacking.

“I only heard that some councillors held a meeting and said that if people [within the IFP] are being expelled for no reason, maybe they should also step down voluntarily instead of waiting to be expelled,” Shelembe said.

IFP national spokesperson Reverend Musa Zondi said during the provincial conference that Shelembe asked to be given time to make a presentation to IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi regarding his ousting.


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