IFP plan backfires in Umvoti

2013-06-24 00:00

PLANNING to dissolve the ANC-dominated council at the Umvoti Municipality on Friday, the IFP instead lost its only seat at a special executive council (Exco) sitting.

The special sitting was called in Greytown for the three allies, the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), National Freedom Party (NFP) and the Democratic Alliance (DA), to move a motion to dissolve Exco and vote for a new mayor after Philani Mavundla announced his resignation early this month.

Things didn’t go according to plan as the ANC would have none of the voting, opting to hold on to two Exco seats that they had won during the 2011 local government elections.

So instead of voting, the ruling party nominated Mavundla and Nqobile Maphanga to represent the party as Exco members. The three allies went ahead with the voting, nominating the NFP’s Zamo Xaba, the DA’s Paul Buss and the IFP’s Hitler Maharaj to join the new Exco. Maharaj received too few votes and his nomination was rejected. Xaba was elected the new mayor while council speaker Ahmed Sheik used the powers vested in him to declare Maphanga, an ANC councillor, deputy mayor.

Sheik then closed the meeting.

The IFP vowed to take the matter to court, alleging that proper procedures were not followed.

IFP’s Mbangiseni Yengwa said: “We were supposed to nominate people that were going to be voted as the new Exco members, but the ANC abstained, which meant that they were refusing to be part of the process,” he said.

Yengwa said the IFP recognised Xaba, but not his deputy, Maphanga, because “she was not part of the nominees for Exco membership”.

“We will be taking this matter to court,” he said. IFP supporters, who had come in their numbers, were very disappointed with the outcome of the meeting.

• thobani.ngqulunga@witness.co.za

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