Pongola councillor still ducking and diving after container theft

2015-10-19 10:00
(File, Nielen Bottomley, News24)

(File, Nielen Bottomley, News24)

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Pietermaritzburg - Nxumalo continues in his role as municipal councillor even though the Pongola Magistrate’s Court found him guilty of stealing a steel container belonging to sister municipality Zululand District (ZD) in January.

Nxumalo had opted to pay a R20 000 fine instead serving a four-year prison sentence.

Speaker Herbert Ngcamaphala said the municipality could not initiate internal processes because Nxumalo indicated that he wants to appeal the sentencing.

“We do not want the processes to run concurrent,” said Ngcamaphala.

Eight months later, Ngcamaphala said Nxumalo had not updated the municipality about status of the appeal.

Nxumalo hung up the phone when asked about the appeal, saying he was busy.

The container, which was stolen in 2011, was being used by ZD to store cement bags that were used to construct toilets in the area.

During court hearings it was revealed that Nxumalo had taken the container, repainted it and used it to house his pay phone business in Pongola town.

Alhough magistrate Nhlenko had found enough evidence to convict him, Nxumalo said insisted that he had not stolen the container.

“I was under the impression that I was renting that container. I paid the previous councillor R1 200 to use that container, and I was about to pay a balance of R800 when it emerged that the container belonged to Zululand,” said Nxumalo.

He admitted that he did not ask for a receipt when he made the payment, and did not know for how long he was going to use the container.

“Anyway I did not use that container for my business. People are confusing things. I do have the pay phone business in town, but I did not use this container for it.

“I was using that container as my weekend office because on weekends I don’t get time to go to my office,” he said.

Nxumalo had claimed he was a victim of a political set-up.

“Opposition councillors are still bitter because I defeated them in polls,” he said.

Zululand mayor Mpiyakhe Hlatshwayo called on Pongola municipality to take drastic action against the convicted councillor.

“We have lost a number of properties belonging to the municipality, but it never occurred to us that a councillor from our sister municipality could be responsible for such a dastardly act. This is a disgrace,” said Hlatshwayo.

The Democratic Alliance recently held a demonstration calling for the removal of Nxumalo.

The party’s ZD leader Hlanganani Gumbi accused the mayor of protecting the “corrupt” Nxumalo

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  theft

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