Formation of ward committee halted

2017-03-08 06:00

A COMMUNITY meeting in Ward 1, Doringkop, scheduled for the selection of ward committee members on 26 February, was disrupted when a resident allegedly attempted to use a firearm on a group of people who had reportedly called for his removal at the meeting.

The meeting was held at Kwasokesimbonge in Doringkop, on the Sunday morning and it had been convened so that a ward committee for the area would be formed.

According to a resident of the ward who attended the meeting, but asked to remain anonymous, the meeting - attended by municipal officials and the community - went awry when the name of the area’s councillor, Dumisane Ndimande, was mentioned. Ndimande was allegedly not in attendance at the meeting.

According to the resident, the community was angered by the mention of the councillor’s name because they wanted the PR councillors to oversee the formation of the ward committee as the community is reportedly no longer pleased with Ndimande’s councillorship.

The resident said that while the community expressed its displeasure with the mention of Ndimande’s name, a call was made that another attendee be removed from the meeting because the community claimed the attendee is closely linked to Ndimande.

“That is when he [the attendee who was asked to vacate the meeting] tried to withdraw his firearm. It looked as if he wanted to use it on a certain group that was very vocal about his attendance and was calling for him to leave the meeting,” the resident said. The source added that municipal police officials were called to the scene and the man was monitored closely by the police until he was taken outside and municipal officials left the meeting before official proceedings were under way.
However, KwaDukuza Municipality communications officer Sphelelo Ngobese said the municipality cannot confirm the incident. “According to a report I received regarding this meeting, the community disrupted the meeting saying they did not want the councillor’s name to be mentioned. That is the main reason that the meeting came to an end,” Ngobese said.

According to the source, this was not the first time that a community meeting has been disrupted and brought to an abrupt end.

Another meeting was brought to a sudden halt in late January, when community members reportedly demanded that Ndimande, be excluded from the meeting. Sources claim Ndimande was escorted from that meeting by police officials.

According to residents who claimed to have attended the meeting, the meeting was allegedly scheduled to provide an update on a housing project in the area.

However, KwaDukuza Municipality director of communications Sifiso Zulu said: “It was not a project, community meeting.

It was the meeting for the selection of the workers.”

Community members claim that the meeting was attended by officials from the housing department and that the call for Ndimande to be excluded from the proceedings was made because the community is no longer satisfied with his councillorship.


In late October last year, Ward 1 residents handed over a memorandum of demands to KwaDukuza Mayor Ricardo Mthembu during a community meeting, demanding that Ndimande be removed as councillor of the area with immediate effect.

The memorandum levelled several allegations against Ndimande, including claims that he is corrupt and that he keeps the community in the dark about the housing projects in the area.

One community member, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of being victimised, said how people are selected to be beneficiaries of the housing project is not transparent and not in accordance with the official process and that most of those who had been awarded houses were closely linked to the councillor and that the more recent beneficiaries had allegedly campaigned for Ndimande ahead of last year’s local government elections.

Zulu said applications for houses in the area were done and approved prior to the implementation of the project by the KZN Department of Human Settlements and that a list of approved beneficiaries was compiled which is adhered to when a house is awarded to a recipient.

The community member further claimed that the current contractor was not officially introduced to the community as the previous contractor had been replaced.

“The municipality has not appointed a contractor. It Appointed The Implementing Agent by the name of Ngcobo and Associates and this agent was introduced to the community and is on site,” Zulu said.

Zulu dismissed the community member’s claims that local subcontractors or contractors were overlooked for working on the project, saying that local businesses were afforded the opportunity if they met the criteria.

“The Implementing Agent is part of the Turnkey Strategy, so the same Implementing Agent is the one who is doing construction as per the Council Resolution,” Zulu said. According to the source, the contract of the previous contractor was terminated and that the contractor had taken the municipality to court. Zulu confirmed the latter and said that the matter between that contractor and the municipality had not been finalised.

According to Zulu, this past weekend’s meeting was not the first to come to an abrupt end without the order of the day, the election of Ward Committee members, being achieved.

“In Ward 1 the meeting was convened in line with the adopted plan but the community objected to the election of Ward Committee members citing their dissatisfaction with the Ward councillor. The meeting convened to elect ward committees collapsed.” Zulu said.

The resident further stated that the ANC in the Greater KwaDukuza Region intervened in the matter between the displeased community and the councillor they calling for to be removed, Ndimande.

The source claimed that the party deployed three individuals to work closely with the community on matters pertaining to the area’s development and the issue of forming a Ward Committee.
Ngobese said the municipality still recognises Ndimande as the official councillor of Ward 1.

The party’s regional spokesperson Lucky Makhathini said several allegations levelled against Ndimande, who is an ANC councillor, were brought to the attention of the ANC’s regional leadership.

He said these allegations prompted the organisation to institute an internal investigation whose outcomes, the report, would determine the party’s actions going forward.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 3

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