The African National Congress (ANC) in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) has been unable to appoint mayors in various municipalities due to internal squabbles.
The party in KZN seems to be facing defiance from some of its councillors and members from the KwaDukuza region where some party members in the region accused the provincial leadership of imposing mayoral candidates and speakers on them.
A sizeable number of ANC councillors did not pitch at a council meeting which was to elect a new mayor and speaker of KwaDukuza, a position which became vacant when Ricardo Mthembu resigned after the general elections earlier in the year to take up a seat in the provincial legislature.
ANC councillors are said to have boycotted the council meeting and took sick leave on the day of the council meeting.
Mthembu who is now also the ANC’s provincial spokesperson says, “The regional executive committee will propose three names to the PEC and the PEC will scrutinize those submissions. So those who suggest there was imposition of these people really they might be lacking understanding how the ANC operates when it comes to deployment.”
“It happened that there was a meeting called but councillors went on leave. They applied for leave of absence they mentioned different reasons sick and family things of which the ANC has cautioned them very strongly so that council could not seat. Upon investigating further, it was clear that there was dissatisfaction about the names among some comrades,” adds Mthambu.
The ANC’s provincial leadership has not considered a request by the party’s iNkosi Bhambatha regional leadership for the removal of uMvoti Mayor Thami Ngubane.
In October the region wrote a letter to the provincial leadership calling for Ngubane’s sacking after allegations that the municipality spent R11 million on the mayor’s security since 2016.
Mthembu denies that the provincial leadership has swept the region’s request under the carpet.
“We are attending the matter, there was no time frame given to us to say when we write a letter we want you to act on this particular time. We are not going to use emotions in terms of dealing with these issues. We are going to deal with these issues; consult people, get exactly what are the issues there. We are going to be dealing with issues in whatever way.”
He says,“Umvoti is among the municipalities where we say there are challenges which must be addressed in a particular way.”
The party recently suffered a blow when it lost a ward to the National Freedom Party (NFP) in a by-election.
At provincial level the ANC says it will still do a thorough assessment to determine what led to the defeat.
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