uMngeni: Cosatu plans protest over councillors

2011-06-27 00:00

SPECULATION is rife that the mass action that precipitated the resignation of Msunduzi deputy mayor Alpha Shelembe last week might be repeated at neighbouring uMngeni Municipality following news that a march is being organised to unseat unwanted councillors.

Sources there who spoke to The Witness on condition their names are not published said plans to hold a march against the council were at an advanced stage.

Said one resident, “There are activists who are already working underground organising residents to stage the march.

“We want to show our dissatisfaction with the way the regional executive committee [REC] of the ANC in Moses Mabhida region imposed its members and their people on us. Even though these councillors had been sworn in, we as the communities reject them.”

The inauguration of the uMngeni council earlier this month sparked an outcry from local communities after a nominee who did not appear in the ANC’s candidates’ list, Mbali Myeni, was elected mayor.

At the time The Witness learnt that some aggrieved residents were planning to stage a protest march during the inauguration. That plan was abandoned and is now being revived.

Former uMngeni councillor John Dlamini, who is a KwaZulu-Natal Cosatu provincial executive committee (PEC) member and a chairperson of the SA Municipal Workers’ Union in KZN, confirmed that Cosatu in uMngeni has decided to embark on rolling mass action calling for the removal of all ANC councillors “who were part of the previous council that failed our people”.

“A Cosatu local meeting was held on Wednesday at which it was decided that there will be marches to unseat those councillors who were returned against the people’s will.

“As Cosatu said during the march against Msunduzi last week, that was the beginning and the rolling mass action will continue until all unwanted councillors are removed in all areas under the Moses Mabhida region.”

Dlamini said they were now consulting with the SA Communist Party, ANC activists and other alliance partners to decide on the date for the march.

ANC provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala said the ANC is not aware of any complaints about ANC councillors in uMngeni and promised that the party will engage with the councillors.

“No complaints have been submitted regarding ANC councillors in uMngeni. At the moment we have started engagements with Cosatu regarding their complaints in Msunduzi. We are prepared to engage with them on uMngeni councillors once we have received their complaints,” Zikalala said.

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