Mayors address ‘negative publicity’

2015-06-12 06:00
Photo: khaya  magenu

Harry Gwala District Municipality Deputy Mayor Thuseng Duma, Mayor Mluleki Ndobe and Ubuhlebezwe Municipality Mayor Zamo Nxumalu address the media.

Photo: khaya magenu Harry Gwala District Municipality Deputy Mayor Thuseng Duma, Mayor Mluleki Ndobe and Ubuhlebezwe Municipality Mayor Zamo Nxumalu address the media.

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HARRY Gwala District Municipality mayor­ and ANC chairperson Mluleki Ndobe urged communities not to panic about negative publicity published by certain media houses.

Harry Gwala District Municipality comprises of five local municipalities - Greater Kokstad, Ubuhlebezwe (Ixopo), Umzimkhulu, Ingwe and Kwa Sani (Underberg).

Ndobe said recent articles highlighting irregular expenditure against Harry Gwala District Municipality are lies disseminated by an aggrieved councillor who has been fired from his position by his organisation.

Addressing media houses on Friday, Ndobe said they knew that some of councillors wanted to contest the leadership of the ANC in the region, but when they lost they tried to destroy the image of municipality.

“We know that one of our councillors took the municipality to court while serving in the same municipality. As the ruling party we won’t allow that. “The matter was processed at political level where he was found guilty and was suspended for a year. Then he was recalled as speaker of the municipality,” said Ndobe referring to the then Harry Gwala District Municipality speaker Mandla Ngcobo who was recently recalled on his position as the speaker.

Ndobe said they assume that media houses wrote several negatives stories about their municipality and they discussed this with Ngcobo because he has been recalled as the speaker.

Ngcobo could not be reached for comment about the allegations against him - his cellphone was on voice mail.

Responding to the allegations pertaining to irregular expenditure in 2009 and 2010, the mayor said the current administration only took over in May 2011, and the allegations are not related to their current administration.

“We have dealt with irregular expenditure and reported to Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs and the Treasury Department,” said Ndobe.

Discussing allegations that they spent R120 000 on fast-food, the mayor said other levels of government in various provinces also use money for fast-food. He said this issue is a non-issue because they use chain-food stores only when going to functions such as the Salga Games.

“When the Auditor General audits our books this was never raised,” said the mayor.

Ndobe said regarding the farmers’ market - there was a service provider appointed to do farmers’ market and the company was given an advance of R2.5 million to complete the job, but the company was liquidated because failed to complete the job and the current administration was not there during that time.

The mayor said they also referred the matter to Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs and the Treasury Department.

However, Harry Gwala regional ANC Treasury­ and Ubuhlebezwe Municipality mayor­ Zamo Nxumalo said he believes there is a dirty political game being played against their municipalities, especially as they are approaching 2016 local government elections.

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