Infighting cancels meeting

2013-04-18 00:00

INFIGHTING among residents of kwaXimba in eThekwini Metro’s Ward 1 forced a delegation from the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature to abandon a meeting to have been held at the kwaDenge sports grounds yesterday.

The meeting was convened to hear residents’ concerns about service delivery so that the multi-party delegation could report back to a special session next week.

The session was to be held at Merebank in Durban as part of the “taking the legislature to the people” programme.

However, a group of about 200 people disrupted the meeting.

Legislature spokesperson Wonder Hlongwa said the group had demanded to know why they had not been properly informed about the meeting and complained about the transport for people to the meeting.

“They also accused the councillor of deliberately sidelining them,” Hlongwa said.

The Witness understands that the disruptive group wants ANC ward councillor Bongumusa Mkhize, who is also the branch deputy chairperson, to be replaced by former councillor Susimpi Ngubane.

Ward 1 is among several ANC constituencies being investigated by a national task team led by Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

The team found the nomination of candidates to be flawed because there had been no screening committee and gate-keeping in the ward.

Les Govender of the Inkatha Freedom Party, who was a member of the multi-party delegation visiting kwaXimba, told The Witness that the group had alleged that Mkhize had been selective when inviting residents to the meeting.

“They wanted him [Mkhize] to be dismissed,” he said.

Govender said there was clearly a stand-off between the faction who supported Mkhize and the disruptive group.

“We decided to abandon the meeting,” he added.

Hlongwa condemned the behaviour of Mkhize’s detractors.

“They could have raised their concerns in a civil manner,” he said.

The IFP leader in the legislature, Blessed Gwala, said his party was dismayed by the incident.

“We are concerned that the internal squabbles of the ANC now spill out into the public arena to the extent that it disrupts the work of the legislature,” he added.

“Democratic processes are being undermined and service delivery to the people of eThekwini is being hampered.

“It is unfortunate that the voices of the people of the Outer West Region could not be heard.”

ANC spokesperson Senzo Mkhize distanced the ANC from the cancellation of the meeting.

He said the matter did not warrant a comment from the ANC.

“That was an issue of the legislature,” Mkhize said, adding that ANC members knew what processes the party was following in resolving the election of the councillor for the ward.

• mayibongwe.maqhina@

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