Concerns about vacant Umzimkhulu Municipality posts voiced

2017-12-01 06:00

OPPOSITION parties are concerned about the delays of filling vacant Umzimkhulu Municipality positions of councillors and the speaker, who were killed this year.

The position of former speaker Khaya Thobela has been vacant since he was killed in April.

Opposition parties have been calling for the municipality to elect a new speaker, but this has not been done.

Inkatha Freedom Party councillor, Luyanda Dladla from Umzimkhulu accused municipal bosses of delaying electing a new speaker saying they want to elect their
favourite people.

He said the post was supposed to be closed a long time ago and council is not functioning well without one.

“Opposition parties are struggling to put their complaints and concerns across because there is no speaker. The municipality is not giving clear directions about when a new speaker will be elected,” said Dladla.

DA, IFP and EFF have formed a partnership and are putting pressure on the municipality to elect a speaker and have threatened to take steps against the municipality if nothing is done.

A dark cloud has covered the municipality since April because after Thobela was murdered Mduduzi Tshibase, a PR councillor and a Ward 14 ANC member in Umzimkhulu, was gunned down in June.

Florence Nene, from local economic development, planning and infrastructure and a councillor in Umzimkhulu died in a car accident in June.

In September, Sindiso Magaqa, a former councillor and ANCYL secretary-general was shot dead.

Tshibase, Nene and Magaqa’s seats remain vacant in council and opposition parties raised concerns about closing their positions at previous council sittings.

Hlanganani Lukhozi, the DA councillor, blamed the municipality for not taking the matter seriously.

“It is unconstitutional for the municipality to operate without a speaker for such a long time,” said former Harry Gwala District EFF convener, Linda Mbhele.

The Umzimkhulu Municipality Mayor, Mphuthumi Mpabanga, confirmed there are vacant positions in council, but said the municipality is working hard to fill them. He called on Umzimkhulu people and opposition parties to be patient.

“I am not sure when the
vacant positions will be filled because the municipality is still following internal processes,” said Mpabanga.

Last month, EFF members picketed outside Umzimkhulu municipal offices, demanding investigations following allegations of corruption and called for the municipality to be placed under administration until investigations are complete.

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