uMgungundlovu car not abused for Madiba funeral

2014-06-18 00:00

THE Msunduzi Municipality has had to apologise for using the uMgungundlovu District Municipality’s name in vain. District Mayor Yusuf Bhamjee and other senior uMgungundlovu officials responded after reading a headline in Monday’s Witness that “NPC car travelling to Mandela’s funeral belongs to uMgungundlovu”.

“It was not our car!” an indignant uMgungundlovu District Municipality responded.

The indignation was well placed and they received an apology from the Msunduzi Municipality.

The saga started with an allegation that an NPC vehicle was spotted on the way to Qunu to former President Nelson Mandela’s funeral last December. The fleet management was asked by the Msunduzi executive committee to investigate. The report from the investigation was presented to the exco last week. In it, fleet manager Mthandeni Ngcobo writes: “Msunduzi Municipality hired a vehicle for the chief whip and when travelling down, the other vehicle belonging to uMgungundlovu Municipality was travelling with them. It is believed that is the way the whole issue came about.”

The municipality had hired a car for Chief Whip Truman Magubane to travel to the funeral, with the full permission of the council as he not only represented the city, but was a fellow Robben Island prisoner with Mandela.

Yesterday, Msunduzi spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha was left to apolo­gise. She said that the uMgungundlovu official spotted on the road to Qunu was using his personal car. “We apologise for any damage that might have been caused to the district.” Mafumbatha said the allegation came about through miscommunication between officials. However, she said, no ­Msunduzi vehicles had gone to Qunu — all vehicles’ travel records had been thoroughly examined.

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