Mayor quits as alliance fails

2013-06-13 00:00

PHILANI Mavundla, the Greytown tycoon turned Umvoti Municipal mayor, has decided to jump before he is pushed.

In a dramatic day where he was to have presented his mayoral budget vote in the Greytown council chambers, Mavundla announced his intention to resign instead.

He told The Witness he was to have delivered his budget speech yesterday, “but I could not do so knowing that in a few days to come a motion would be passed to dissolve the Executive Committee (Exco), which I am part of as mayor.”

This is because the “marriage of convenience” between the ANC and NFP was headed for divorce.

The ANC has 10 seats and its alliance with the NFP, which has two seats, gave it a small majority in the Umvoti council.

However, with the NFP looking at a new alliance with the IFP (9 seats) and the the DA (1), the balance of power in the council will shift to this new coalition.

The Witness is in possession of a letter signed by 12 councillors from the three parties, giving notice to the council of their intention to dissolve the Exco by June 21.

Mavundla said that to present a budget that had to be approved by June 30 would therefore not have made sense.

He said at the heart of the tensions between the ANC and NFP was the suspension of a municipal official for corruption.

“During the hearing this individual vowed to render the municipality ungovernable, claiming that he belonged to the NFP.”

Since then problems developed between the two parties, said Mavundla.

He added that he will remain a ward councillor. This will give him more time to focus on his people. He also had his business — the Mavundla Group — to fall back on.

When he was elected mayor, Mavundla turned down his R700 000 a year mayoral salary, opting to work for free given his wealth.

ANC provincial spokesperson Senzo Mkhize said he was unable to comment as Mavundla had yet to inform the party of his resignation.

“We are still committed to the memorandum of understanding between the ANC and the NFP because the leadership of both political parties have intervened in various municipalities where there were such challenges,” he said.

NFP national organiser Bonga Nzuza said he was shocked that Mavundla had resigned.

He was aware that there was a motion to be tabled to dissolve the Exco in that council.

However, the motion could have still been withdrawn and it was still to be discussed in a meeting between the ANC and the NFP tomorrow, said Nzuza.

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