Durban – The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has laughed off ActionSA’s call to rename eThekwini Municipality after the late Zulu traditional prime minister and IFP founder iNkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi.
In his message of support during the provincial memorial service for Buthelezi which was organised by the IFP in Durban at the weekend, ActionSA leader Zwakele Mncwango surprised many when he called for the renaming of the city in honour of Buthelezi. He said he would soon file a motion, which he urged all parties in the council to back.
ANC provincial spokesperson Mafika Mndebele laughed off the proposal, however, saying Mncwango had shown that what the ANC had been saying about him was true – that he was a ‘political comic’ who should not be taken seriously every time he opened his mouth.
Mndebele said all Mncwango was interested in was hogging headlines, irrespective of whether he made sense. He said there was no basis for naming eThekwini Municipality after Buthelezi, who had never been a councillor or lived in Durban. He said he didn't believe Buthelezi had ever cast a vote in Durban.
“Mncwango has vindicated us that he is a political comic. Inkosi Buthelezi was born and grew up in Zululand but Mncwango alone saw it fit that the people of eThekwini must change the name in honour of a political leader who has no footprint here,” said Mndebele.
Mncwango is expected to table his motion for debate this week but it remains to be seen whether the opposition parties will back his call.
Mncwango’s response will be added once received.
With only four seats in eThekwini, ActionSA was proving to be a strong voice against ANC’s alleged corruption. The party recently claimed a major victory when the South African Music Awards event which the provincial government had secured with R20 million sponsorship was cancelled by KZN Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC Siboniso Duma.
This was after Mncwango wrote to President Cyril Ramaphosa asking him to block the event to save taxpayers’ money. It was also Mncwango who discovered that the city had failed to spend its R1.9 billion infrastructure grant.
It was he, too, who discovered that the city had secretly signed a memorandum committing to carry the cost of the ANC Women’s League conference which was held at the Durban International Convention Centre. It has now emerged that the venue has not been paid for in full and Mncwango has written to ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula to demand clarity.
Buthelezi, who died in September at the age of 95, was born in Mahlabathini, outside Ulundi. Even during his time as the then KwaZulu government chief minister, what is now eThekwini was not under his administration as it remained under the control of the apartheid government.
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