Emalahleni mayor felt 'unwell' during address, municipality denies it was due to drinking tap water

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Conny Nkalitshana is attended to by colleagues.
Conny Nkalitshana is attended to by colleagues.
  • Emalahleni's mayor fell ill during the state of the municipality address on Thursday. 
  • Allegations emerged it was the water she drank that caused the illness. 
  • The municipality denied the claims, saying the water was safe. 

The Emalahleni local municipality says its mayor, Conny Nkalitshana, did not collapse during her mayoral address because of the "poor" quality of the tap water she drank.

On Friday, the municipality denied claims that Nkalitshana collapsed after demonstrating to guests that the water quality in the area was safe for consumption.  

On Thursday, video footage circulated on social media, which showed the mayor being assisted on stage during her state of municipality address.

READ | All ANC members 'implicated' in Zondo report will face party's integrity commission

The municipality's spokesperson, Lebo Mofokeng, said the mayor did not faint, but felt "unwell" while addressing guests. 

Mofokeng said there was no connection between the mayor drinking the water and her sudden, undisclosed "sickness".   

He said Nkalitshana drank the water, but her declining health occurred later, when she was halfway through her address. 

After drinking the water, the mayor continued with her speech, but struggled to conclude and asked a colleague to do so, Mofokeng told News24.  

"The mayor did not collapse after drinking the tap water, whereby she was demonstrating the good quality of the municipality's water.  

"She continued with her speech and, after some time, she indicated that she was not feeling well. She requested that the finance member of the mayoral committee complete delivering the speech," Mofokeng said.  

Nkalitshana consulted a doctor, and will resume her duties once given the medical go-ahead, Mofokeng said.   

On what caused the sudden illness, Mofokeng simply said the mayor felt unwell.  

READ | Emalahleni Mayor Linah Malatjie and her husband killed in car accident

The municipality has had issues with its water supply, but Mofokeng said residents should be assured the water is safe to drink.  

"The municipality would like to assure its residents that water quality is suitable for human consumption. The municipality is participating in the blue and green drop of both water and wastewater quality monitoring.

"I can confirm that the municipal potable water does meet the minimum norms and standards, and is suitable for human consumption," he said. 

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect a mistake by the municipality, who initially said the mayor fainted.

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