eThekwini mayor has not resigned - council speaker

2016-06-01 16:07
James Nxumalo. (The Witness)

James Nxumalo. (The Witness)

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Durban – eThekwini Mayor James Nxumalo will complete his term, council speaker Logie Naidoo said on Wednesday.

Speculation was rife on Wednesday that Nxumalo had resigned, but Naidoo quashed the rumours, saying he had not received a resignation letter from the mayor.

He said Nxumalo's emotional budget speech, which he delivered at the Durban City Hall on Tuesday, could have been interpreted as his resignation.

Naidoo said Nxumalo was, however, merely reflecting on his term as mayor.

Nxumalo reportedly bid his councillors farewell and thanked the council for their hard work and commitment.

He advised councillors to use their term to help communities and to remember that their position was a deployment. 

Fierce battle for position

"The mayor said he would complete his term and, in any case, mayors are chosen by the National Executive Committee and the president in terms of metros. There is no cabal that sits in Umhlanga and decides who the next mayor will be."

Naidoo said it was an emotional time when a term ends. "Even the deputy mayor, Nomvuzo Shabalala, was reflecting on her 20 years," said Naidoo.

Nxumalo has been in a fierce battle with ANC regional chairperson Zandile Gumede, who was tipped to take over as eThekwini mayor after the local government elections.

In February last year, Nxumalo won the position of regional chairperson, but the outcome was nullified later that month. A rerun of the conference was abandoned in May.

After several postponements, the conference finally sat in December, where Gumede emerged as the regional chairperson.

No sense

ANC's provincial spokesperson Mdumiseni Ntuli said the ANC had not received Nxumalo's resignation. "It might be a hoax, we don't have that information," said Ntuli.

A senior government official, who asked not to be named, said Nxumalo was only bidding council farewell. "There is no need to resign with two months left, it does not make sense. It is definitely not true."

A source at the municipality said Nxumalo had accepted that he would not be returning as mayor after the August 3 local government elections.

"Maybe, if the regional conference happened earlier, then he could have been forced to resign like Senzo Mchunu, but the conference happened too late."

Read more on:    james nxumalo  |  durban

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