Poisoning scare? Speaker warns eThekwini council: Don't drink the water!

2019-06-27 17:29
Speaker William Lekgoa Mapena. (News24)

Speaker William Lekgoa Mapena. (News24)

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A full council meeting in eThekwini Metro on Thursday left councillors shocked after allegations of an apparent poisoning attempt on the mayor emerged.

Two councillors tweeted that Speaker William Lekgoa Mapena had announced that there was paraffin in one of the water bottles handed out during the meeting.

Following the announcement, Acting Mayor Fawzia Peer apparently "abruptly" left covering her mouth.

DA councillor Nicole Graham questioned if someone had attempted to poison the acting mayor.

The municipality released a statement on Thursday denying allegations that Peer had been "poisoned".

"At this stage, we can confirm that Peer complained about the taste of the water she had consumed. For precautionary measures she went to the doctor for a check-up.

"The water she consumed has been sent to the laboratory for testing. We will wait for the results from the laboratory as well as her doctor's findings before making any conclusion on the matter."

WATCH: City manager's bodyguards shield him in council after State witness report

Earlier in the day, council was delayed after ANC councillors allegedly wanted the city manager, Sipho Nzuza, to exit the meeting.

An altercation ensued with Nzuza's security detail having to step in to protect him.

Speaking to News24, Nzuza said the incident was not directed at him. "That involved the speaker of the council."

Mapena said the incident was just "robust debate" between ANC councillors.

The municipality has been chaotic since the announcement that Zandile Gumede would step down as mayor.

The ANC put her on special leave while she faces accusations of corruption related to a R230m Durban Solid Waste tender.

The Hawks have alleged that she used her political influence to award contracts, often flouting supply chain management processes.

Her bail conditions prevent her from dealing with key units within the metro.

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