Axe over Msunduzi top brass

2019-08-07 16:14
City Hallâ??s Clock tower keeps ticking. The Msunduzi municipality has managed to keep ahead of the problem the pigeons keep dropping. Photo. Jonathan Burton8BIM

City Hallâ??s Clock tower keeps ticking. The Msunduzi municipality has managed to keep ahead of the problem the pigeons keep dropping. Photo. Jonathan Burton8BIM (File)

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The ANC leadership, which has been on the receiving end of public outrage over Msunduzi Municipality’s failure to deliver decent services to residents, has been advised to axe the entire municipal top brass, including Mayor Themba Njilo.

Sources within the ANC top KZN leadership structure, the provincial executive committee (PEC), told The Witness that a task team assembled by the ruling party to assess the municipality has recommended that Njilo, his deputy, Thobani Zuma, and Speaker Jabu Ngubo be removed.

The task team — whose report was discussed by the PEC on Monday — also called for the axing of the entire Msunduzi executive committee.

“The task team blamed part of the chaos at the municipality on factional battles within the Msunduzi’s top political leadership — it found that they were working against each other,” the PEC member said.

The PEC, which could not finalise discussions on the task team’s report due to time constraints, will reconvene this weekend.

“Even though the report had also focused on other underperforming ANC municipalities in KZN, it painted a very negative picture of Msunduzi’s political leadership.

“Unfortunately, the extent of service delivery challenges due to infighting will leave the PEC with no other choice but to ratify the task team’s recommendations,” the source said.

While ANC provincial secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli — who held a press conference in Durban on Wednesday on the outcome of the PEC’s two-day discussions that ended on Monday — could not give details on the contents of the task team’s recommendation, he confirmed that the PEC would finalise the Msunduzi matter and others this weekend.

“The PEC received and discussed a detailed report with extensive analysis on the state of the municipalities in KZN, particularly those under the leadership of the ANC.”

He said the PEC deferred this discussion to a special meeting to take place within the next five days to deal “with perennial problems in certain ANC-led municipalities”.

The ANC’s intervention at Msunduzi Municipality, which is currently under administration, comes shortly after the council’s leadership had been presented with a damning report blaming a lack of oversight, lack of consequence management and political interference for the City’s collapse

Ntuli said the PEC, which established the task team shortly after the May national elections that saw the ANC losing 10% of its support in KZN, had a duty to ensure that residents in ANC-controlled municipalities received decent services. He said the PEC would reveal what action will be taken to address service delivery failures at the end of the special meeting.

ANC councillors at Msunduzi are said to be sharply divided, with one faction supporting former president Jacob Zuma and another backing current President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The Witness previously reported how in-fighting within the ANC caucus resulted in the collapse of meetings due to a failure to meet quorums.

There are rumours that Njilo has already served the party’s provincial leadership with his resignation letter, an allegation Ntuli dismissed.

“Only the ANC ... can decide whether he should continue as mayor,” he said.

A number of names, including that of former ANC MPL Sipho Gcabashe, have been bandied about as possible replacements for Njilo, while the ANC’s regional head of mobilisation, Mzimkhulu Thebolla, is supposedly poised to be his deputy.

ANC Moses Mabhida Regional Task Team (RTT) convenor Thulani Xulu could not be reached for comment.

ANC EXCO MEMBERS

Nokuthula Msimang

Tholakele Dlamini

Philisiwe Sithole

Sphamandla Khumalo

Eunice Majola

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  msunduzi municipality
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