Magwaza-Msibi denies snubbing Scopa meeting

2014-02-13 00:00

ZULULAND District Mayor Zanele Magwaza-Msibi yesterday lashed out at the standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) for accusing her and two other senior officials of snubbing the committee meeting on Tuesday.

Magwaza-Msibi, who is also the National Freedom Party president, said the statements made by Scopa were political.

“I take exception to what they said, knowing that they never invited me,” she said in an interview with The Witness.

Magwaza-Msibi said she deserved respect as the mayor and that she would comply if Scopa wanted her to attend its meetings.

“In this instance, I was not invited,” she said.

The NFP leader was reacting to reports that officials from the district municipality were sent packing after she, in her capacity as mayor, municipal manager Johan de Klerk and chief finance officer Bhekisizwe Nkosi did not attend the meeting.

Instead the municipal public accounts committee chairperson, head of technical services and mayoral committee member responsible for infrastructure projects attended.

The meeting had been called to seek answers on the expenditure of funds allocated to the municipality for the provision of water, sanitation and district roads amid claims of under-expenditure by the district.

There were also claims that the district performs duties not within their competency.

Magwaza-Msibi told The Witness that the invitation from Scopa did not specify who should attend.

She also said the municipality had agreed to send the director for technical services, the councillor responsible for infrastructure projects and chairperson of MPAC.

“These are not junior representatives,” Magwaza-Msibi added.

She also said there would have been no reason for her to snub the meeting had she been invited.

The Scopa meeting was the first held this year and only the Zululand District Municipality was invited.

Under normal circumstances political and administrative heads of departments, parastatals and municipalities are required to personally attend meetings for accountability purposes.

Last year a joint sitting of the finance and co-operative governance and traditional affairs committees grudgingly continued with their meeting with Umzinyathi District Municipality when it transpired that the municipal manager and CFO attended without the mayor or another councillor.

But, sources close to the committee said Magwaza-Msibi helped herself by not attending because she would have been roasted by the ANC and IFP-dominated Scopa and dealt a blow in the NFP’s election campaign.

What compounds matters is that Scopa chairperson Sipho Nkosi has been deployed by the ANC to the municipal area as part of long-term strategy to take control of the council.

Magwaza-Msibi said it was curious that only Zululand District Municipality was called to appear before Scopa this week.

“You can read between the lines. It never happened before. They are panicking because of the way we work. They try all sorts of things,” said Magwaza-Msibi.

She insisted that her council was delivering services and obtained unqualified audit reports from the auditor-general.

“We spend budget allocation every financial year. We expedite our projects and as a result we get more budget allocations,” she said, adding that she would avail herself if she was required to attend.

But Nkosi shot back, saying, “We are not in a business of scoring cheap political points. We wanted to work together to resolve problems.”

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.