WATCH | Drama at uMngeni Municipality’s DA inauguration

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The DA in uMngeni walked out on its first council sitting on Friday.

The councillors whose party won KwaZulu-Natal’s first municipality refused to participate in the meeting as it would be illegal.

The councillors led by mayor elect Chris Pappas said their participation in a meeting where a suspended municipal manager was present could render the sitting illegal.

The meeting was meant to see the election of a speaker who would then facilitate the election of a mayor and deputy mayor.

The inauguration started on a tense note as suspended municipal manager Thembeka Cibane refused to leave.

Cibane told The Witness on the sidelines that she had been at work for the past two days as her suspension lapsed.

She was suspended after the Special Investigating Unit found that there had been irregularities and maladministration in the way grant funding has been spent on Covid-19 relief. 

DA
Thembeka Cibane. the suspended MM for uMngeni Municipality, wants to officiate the DA's inauguration.

DA leader John Steenhuisen said the drama that unfolded at the Howick West Community Hall was proof the ANC had not accepted defeat in uMngeni.

“The municipal manager is suspended and if you're suspended you're not allowed to preside over administrative issues,” said Steenhuisen.

Steenhuisen said Cibane’s presence in the ball was patently illegal.

ANC Moses Mabhida RTT coordinator Mandla Zondi said what had happened was disappointing.

“We wanted to see our councillors sworn in so they can hit the ground running and ensure that services are delivered to the people,” said Zondi.

The councillors have now moved to the Magistrate’s court where they will be sworn in.

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