ANC members on Wednesday staged a protest outside the Ulundi police station over the IFP Zululand District Municipality’s 'R5 million' breakfast bill.
The municipality, which is based in Ulundi in northern KwaZulu-Natal, was reported to have spent R5 million on a breakfast early this month to woo investors to the district. However, this amount has now been disputed.
Held in Durban, the breakfast took place on the same day as the IFP elections manifesto launch.
While the IFP and Zululand District Municipality Mayor, Thulasizwe Buthelezi – who disputed that the breakfast cost R5 million - claim that the event was necessary as the district had a high unemployment rate, the protest organisers were adamant that the event was designed to prop up the IFP’s manifesto launch.
When the breakfast came to light two weeks ago, neither Buthelezi nor the IFP disputed that the event, which is now subject to an investigation by the provincial Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) department, had cost below R5 million.
The protest organisers, who laid a criminal compliant at the Ulundi police station against Buthelezi, want the mayor and officials responsible for the breakfast to pay back the money.
“There is no doubt that the breakfast had nothing to do with the people of the Zululand District – it had everything to do with the IFP,” said Tholi Ndlovu, one of the protest organisers.
Buthelezi however said the breakfast, which he claimed resulted in investments worth over R600 million flowing to the district, cost less than R200 000.