Who leads Imbabazane? Puzzled residents protest

2012-07-03 00:00

THE change in leadership at the Imbabazane Municipality near Estcourt, occasioned by the National Freedom Party in the council siding with the Inkatha Freedom Party instead of the ANC, its coalition partner, has created confusion among local residents. They say they are unsure who their leaders are.

Yesterday, about 130 people protested to demand, among other things, for the council leadership to inform them about who is in charge.

In a scene replicated at several other KZN municipalities in the past, the leadership change came about after NFP and IFP councillors united to depose the ANC mayor, Phindile Strydom, and speaker, Mondli Mkhize, respectively two weeks ago.

Protester Bongani Malinga said the NFP and ANC signed a five-year contract to co-govern the municipality.

“We have heard about the changes from the media, and we now see the newly appointed leaders introducing new projects in various wards, without first introducing themselves to ratepayers,” he said.

“We know that we come from the rural areas, but we must not be taken for fools because we understand how protocol works. We want to know where the budget to pay for the new mayor’s bodyguards comes from, while the old mayor, former deputy mayor and former speaker still have their bodyguards.”

The NFP said it was still committed to its coalition agreement with the ANC and had asked for a meeting with the ANC’s provincial leaders.

• thobani.ngqulunga@witness.co.za

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