Durban - The Economic Freedom Fighters brought Kokstad Municipality to a halt on Monday when they stormed the council offices to demand that officials respond to allegations of corruption.
The action drew an angry response from Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube, who accused them of trying to hold the municipality to ransom.
“The EFF have taken their destructive behaviour from Parliament to Kokstad, where they are disrupting the functioning of the municipality,” read a statement from Dube-Ncube’s office.
EFF members on Monday demanded a response to a memorandum handed over during a march early this year. They had demanded that certain senior officials be fired for corruption and accused some councillors of enriching themselves through tenders with the municipality.
Kokstad municipal manager, Zamokuhle Mkhize, said EFF members wearing red regalia forced their way into the offices. They proceeded to his office and demanded to see him.
They really behaved like hooligans, the same behaviour they displayed in Gauteng and in (national) Parliament,” he said.
Mkhize said he could not meet their demands.
“They wanted staff members to be fired for being implicated in corruption. I told them the municipal manager could not just fire people without following processes.
“They also accused councillors of having tenders, even though they could not present evidence. They also demanded an investigation into the allocation of (low cost) houses,” he said.
He said the police had to be called in to remove the EFF members.
EFF organiser, Mawethu Mathe, said, “We handed over the memorandum and gave them 30 days to respond. They thought we were just doing it for the general elections, but we are very serious, because that municipality is rotten.”
He said they later went to the police station to lay charges of corruption against officials.
“We did not intimidate anyone, it was just a sit-in,” he said.
Dube-Ncube said the EFF’s action was a calculated move.
“This is not an isolated incident, judging by the party’s conduct in Parliament, but part of a well-orchestrated campaign to render public institutions ungovernable.”