Umzinyathi at odds over mayor

2016-02-12 13:00
Former mayor James Mthethwa

Former mayor James Mthethwa (File)

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Pietermaritzburg - Political parties in the ANC-NFP coalition run Umzinyathi District Municipality around Greytown, are at odds over the election of their new mayor.

Since the stepping down of gay-bashing ANC mayor Reverend James Mthethwa, the embattled NFP deputy mayor Naniwe Madonsela has been acting as the mayor.

Mthethwa resigned in August last year after he caused a stir with his comment that “homosexuals spread HIV and bring shame to our communities”, before he was appointed to the National Council of Provinces a month later.

The municipality has had three failed attempts to elect a new mayor, the latest being on Tuesday where the IFP walked out of a council meeting, forcing matters to be adjourned again.

IFP leader in the region Mbangiseni Yengwa said they walked out of the meeting after learning that Madonsela was refused entry to the meeting.

Madonsela was suspended by her party and later fired after she allegedly failed to appear for a disciplinary hearing.

Despite provincial deputy chairperson Erickson Zungu claiming Madonsela had acknowledged receipt of a letter “delivered to her by the messenger of court” informing her of the decision to fire her, Madonsela denied having received the letter.

“What I know is that I have to attend a disciplinary hearing tomorrow [today], where my fate will hopefully be decided,” said Madonsela.

Zungu said Madonsela had failed to appear before a disciplinary committee, hence the decision was taken to fire her.

He said he could not understand the IFP’s “sudden” sympathy with Madonsela.

“They [IFP] came with high hopes of turning the tables. They had made their calculations hoping Madonsela would vote for them.

“From the beginning, Madonsela never got the blessing from the party to stand for the position of deputy mayor. She was nominated by the same IFP. We accepted that, based on the IFP reasoning that there was a need for a woman candidate,” said Zungu.

Some NFP councillors in other municipalities have disobeyed the coalition agreement which was reached by the ANC and NFP after the 2011 local government elections, and voted with the IFP which resulted in a few municipalities being handed back to the IFP.

ANC provincial secretary Super Zuma expressed his discontent at the behaviour of the IFP councillors.

“The exit of the IFP from the political space in our province is irreversible and no amount of resistance will alter the current political trajectory.”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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