Demarcation showdown looms

2018-03-09 06:00
PHOTOS: Khaya Magenu. AIC president Mandla Galo.

PHOTOS: Khaya Magenu. AIC president Mandla Galo.

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ASHOWDOWN is looming between the African Independent Congress (AIC), the ANC, the Eastern Cape Legislature and the KZN Legislature over the issue of relocating Matatiele town and its rural areas from Eastern Cape back to KwaZulu-Natal.

This after KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape legislatures held different public hearings over the issue.

The Eastern Cape Legislature held its own public hearings in Maluti on Thursday last week, while the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature bused people from Matatiele to Kokstad on Saturday.

There were reports that the Matatiele Local Municipality authorities denied the KZN Legislature permission to host its hearings in their area because they do not support the motion of the relocating of Matatiele back to KwaZulu-Natal.

Eastern Cape Legislature ad hoc committee member Mninawe Nyusile, on relocation of Matatiele back to KZN, lashed out at the KZN Legislature, saying that it has no right to convene public hearing in another province.

“In terms of the law, the KZN Legislature does not have a right to convene public hearings or attend our public hearing. Only officials from parliament have that right,” said Nyusile.

He said it is wrong for the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature to bus people from the Eastern Cape in Matatiele to Kokstad in KwaZulu-Natal.

“They have no right to consult our people in terms of the law. They only have a right to consult people from the Harry Gwala District in Kokstad,” said Nyusile.

Meanwhile, Sipho Gcabashe, a KZN Legislature ad hoc committee member said over the issue of Matatiele, that they met with Matatiele Local Municipality representatives but also complained that the hall was not suitable to convene a public hearing because it is still undergoing revamping.

He said they then decided to bus the people to Kokstad. “The time was running against us because we were supposed to convene this public hearing before February 28, according to the law,” said Gcabashe.

Alfred Nzo regional ANC secretary Vukile Mhlelembana, which is part of Matatiele, said the KZN Legislature must forget about Matatiele ever going back to KwaZulu-Natal.

He said it is wrong for the politics of Ekurhuleni and Rustenburg in North West Province to affect Eastern Cape politics, questioned the terms of the coalition agreement between the ANC national structure and AIC after the 2016 local government elections.

The ANC made an agreement with AIC in the Ekurhuleni and Rustenburg municipalities to make a coalition government after the ANC failed to retain both municipalities with an outright majority. As a condition of working with the AIC, the ANC promised to return Matatiele to KwaZulu-Natal.

AIC president Mandla Galo, who was part of the public hearings held in Kokstad, said he has already given the ANC a time frame to relocate Matatiele back to KwaZulu-Natal.

“If they fail to relocate Matatiele before the end of April, we are pulling out of the coalition with the ANC in the Ekurhuleni and Rustenburg Council at the end of May.”

Galo also questioned the public hearings hosted by the Eastern Cape, claiming they were biased.

He accused the ANC in the Eastern Cape Legislature of selecting its own people to attend it in order to reject Matatiele going back to KwaZulu-Natal.

He alleged that the ANC in the Eastern Cape has approached traditional leaders, telling them they would become the subjects of Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini if they allowed the change take place.

However, addressing media last week, Matatiele local municipal speaker Nomasomi Mshuqwana said the Council resolved to reject the proposed constitutional amendment bill because as an ANC-led government, they never fought for provinces but fought for a unitary state of South Africa.

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