KZN Cogta to turn to courts to challenge Mtubatuba mayoral election

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KwaZulu-Natal Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC, intervenes in the ANC/IFP dispute in Mtubatuba.
KwaZulu-Natal Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC, intervenes in the ANC/IFP dispute in Mtubatuba.

This week’s election of an IFP councillor to replace the ANC mayor at the Mtubatuba, in northern KwaZulu-Natal, was “unprocedural”.

This is according to KZN Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC, Sipho Hlomuka.

The IFP, which had filed a motion of no confidence in the council’s ANC top leaders, including the ruling party’s mayor, deputy mayor and speaker, on Wednesday claimed to have taken over the municipality.According to IFP provincial secretary, Thamsanqa Ntuli, Mtubatuba Municipality councillors elected an IFP mayor during a special council meeting held on Wednesday.

However, ANC Far North regional secretary, Thobelani Ncamphalala, said Wednesday’s meeting was illegal as ANC councillors were not invited.KZN Cogta spokesperson Senzelwe Mzila said the department was of the opinion that the municipal leadership elected at the first council sitting following the 2021 local government elections was the legitimate leadership of Mtubatuba as there was no court order to substantiate the contrary. 

“The process in which a mayor and a speaker were elected during a special council meeting this past week was deeply flawed, unconstitutional and unlawful. The department is in the process of preparing an urgent court application.” he said on Friday.

Hlomuka said the dispute between the ANC and IFP in the Mtubatuba Municipality meant that the council now has two mayors.

“It is unfortunate that only a few weeks after the 2021 local government elections when Mtubatuba residents elected a new council we have a municipality with two mayors and two speakers and without stability in governance, administration and service delivery,” he said.

Developments at the municipality, Hlomuka said, have the potential to plunge the council into a crisis.

“Our hope was that the instability that marked the previous term of local government at Mtubatuba would come to an end with the election of a new council during last year’s local government elections.

“As things stand, this is not the case and we are having to turn to the courts to enforce stability in this municipality,” he said.

Depending on the outcome of the court process, the Mtubatuba council could be dissolved, necessitating fresh elections in the area

• clive.ndou@witness.co.za

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