Dismissed MF councillors defiant

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Shameen Thakur-Rajbansi

Three Minority Front councillors who were fired by party boss Shameen Thakur-Rajbansi – but went to the Durban High Court to keep their jobs – remained defiant on Monday, saying they would not go down without a fight and would continue “serving the people”.

Lyndal Singh, Dheenadayalan Govender and Ganas Govender, all proportional representative councillors, were told on Friday that they were to be replaced in the eThekwini council by Anusha Maharaj, Ganchand Dhevnarain and Bhanumathie Haripersad.

According to a press release sent out by Thakur-Rajbansi, their removal was “part of regular political party management”.

The trio, who said they heard of their imminent axing “through the corridors of city hall”, approached the Durban High Court for an interdict preventing their removal, which was granted.

“Our work is for the public. Our work is for the voters, not (Thakur-Rajbansi),” Ganas said on Monday.

“Our internal problems we will work out, but that is not our main purpose… I am sitting in the head offices and servicing the people,” he said.

Ganas said he had not spoken to Thakur-Rajbansi for some time, and that he was shocked to find out he was being removed from his position.

“Right until now I still do not have a reason why I was dismissed. Nobody has given me a reason why they would want to remove me. My work is up to date… I still don’t understand. All I can think of is that Mrs Rajbansi made a mistake,” he said.

Since the Durban High Court overturned the councillors’ removal last week, Thakur-Rajbansi has reportedly gone to ground and has not been seen at the party head offices in Chatsworth.

She did not attend the party’s caucus meeting on Monday, which, according to councillors, was unusual.

Repeated attempts by the Daily News to reach Thakur-Rajbansi also were unsuccessful.

Since the death of party stalwart Amichand Rajbansi in December, the Minority Front has imploded, with infighting and jostling over lucrative local, provincial and national positions.

In recent weeks, a number of councillors have openly questioned the appointment of Rajbansi’s wife, ThakurRajbansi, who assumed the party’s leadership after his death.

In May, Roy Bhoola, the Minority Front’s only parliamentary representative in Cape Town, won a high court reprieve to keep his post pending the finalisation of a court application he brought against Thakur-Rajbansi, who wanted to expel him permanently.

Bhoola was fired by Thakur-Rajbansi in April this year for “gross insubordination”.

Last week the party caucus raised issues of financial irregularities, nepotism and a lack of democracy.

Friday’s attempt to remove the three councillors was seen by observers as an attempt to remove dissenting voices within the party and a move by Thakur-Rajbansi to consolidate her supporters.

Ganas refused to comment on why he believed there were moves to replace him, saying that when the time was right he would speak.

Dheenadayalan said he was disappointed at the attempts to remove him, but planned on staying on with the MF even if it was through a court order.

“We are disappointed with what she has done and her failure to follow democratic processes,” he said. - Daily News


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