Durban — The Vryheid community is unhappy with the interim appointment of AbaQulusi Local Municipality acting mayor Mandla Mazibuko because he is alleged to have once referred to them as baboons.
The community urged the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) to reverse the appointment. The mayor Mncedisi Maphisa was suspended on Monday after a voice recording was leaked in which he ostensibly made sexist comments.
But the community is not happy with Mazibuko’s appointment either because he allegedly previously referred to residents as baboons. It’s claimed that despite complaints to the municipality no action was taken.
Community leader Lindokuhle Xulu said residents were dismayed to learn about Mazibuko’s appointment, saying the IFP was replacing “one corrupt leader with another”.
Xulu said South Africans should not believe that the IFP was responsive to people’s needs. He said the party was selective in acting swiftly, and oppressive of women and the youth yet never took action against old male members of the party.
The former #FeesMustFall leader cast doubt on the party’s seriousness in dealing with the mayor’s issue, saying an IFP NEC hearing for the shamed mayor was just a ‘facade’ because of the media attention. Xulu said this was a smokescreen and called for the matter to be dealt with by KwaZulu-Natal Cogta.
“We call upon all leaders of different political parties in the AbaQulusi Local Municipality to put their differences aside and prioritize service delivery,” said Xulu.
Xulu led a march in October last year calling for the mayor and speaker’s resignations following the allegations that they had misused municipal petrol cards and extra security guards without approval.
During that march, Mazibuko was allegedly recorded referring to the marchers as baboons. Xulu said Mazibuko had never retracted his words or apologized.
IFP spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa said his party would not change its decision on appointing Mazibuko as an acting mayor. Hlengwa said any person who had an issue with the decision could write to the party but it would not entertain rumours as fact.
“The decisions taken yesterday (on Monday) are in the interests of stability, due process, and an exercise compliant with the audi alteram partem rule thus petty politicking has no place at this moment,” said Hlengwa.
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