eThekwini acting mayor in the firing line

EThekwini Municipality acting mayor Zandile Myeni. | Supplied

EThekwini Municipality acting mayor Zandile Myeni. | Supplied

Published Jul 9, 2024


Durban — The political future of eThekwini Municipality acting mayor Zandile Myeni is hanging by a thread after her boss, NFP president Ivan Barnes, asked her to give reasons why she should not be suspended from the party.

Myeni is the city’s deputy mayor.

She stepped into the acting role following former mayor Mxolisi Kaunda’s redeployment to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).

Myeni had been summoned by the NFP’s highest structure, the National Executive Committee (NEC), but allegedly did not attend.

This triggered the onslaught against her by her NFP enemies.

In a letter dated March 22, 2024, Barnes wrote: “Hence, you are requested to provide detailed valid reasons and any proof you might have for your non-attendance. Otherwise, you shall provide reasons why you should not be suspended pending disciplinary process against you for ill-discipline, insubordination, bringing the party into disrepute, and failure to take orders from the NEC, among others.”

Myeni's removal from the NFP could end the relationship between the City and her party as she clinched the post on her party’s ticket.

Last year, she contested Barnes for the NFP president position but lost.

With the possible coalition of the Government of Provincial Unity (GPU) between the IFP-ANC-DA and the NFP, Myeni’s political career seems to be further on the line as she is not expected to join the trio position (mayor, deputy mayor and speaker).

In terms of the ultimatum that Barnes issued to Myeni, she has until Wednesday to submit her defence after she did not attend the party meeting.

Myeni is accused of failing to attend the meeting of the party’s national executive committee in Ulundi on March 22.

Barnes wants Myeni to explain why she failed to pitch up. If not, she must provide reasons why she should not be suspended.

Myeni could not be reached for comment.

Barnes referred the Daily News to the statement the party issued.

NFP president Ivan Barnes. | Supplied

Political analyst Zakhele Ndlovu said Myeni’s suspension from the NFP could lead to instability in eThekwini.

“She is there (eThekwini) on the ticket of being deployed by her party, the NFP.

“So, if her party sacks her this would lead to the City being without a deputy mayor.

“The NFP should resolve its interparty bickering before it ultimately collapses the party,” said Ndlovu.

The NFP has been rocked by internal bickering for years after its formation in 2011 by the late flamboyant former IFP veteran Zanele KaMagwaza-Msibi.

“If the NFP does not resolve its factional fights, it will ultimately cease to exist. This is a crucial time for them to ease the tensions and move as a united force,” said Ndlovu.

The City was left without a mayor after Kaunda was abruptly redeployed to the NCOP by the ANC last month.

It is believed that the redeployment, which has been seen in many quarters as a demotion, was as a result of Kaunda’s falling out with the main ANC leaders in the province of KZN.

A meeting to elect a new mayor two weeks ago was postponed after the ANC failed to get backing for its mayoral candidate, Cyril Xaba, from its main partners in the National Government of Unity, the DA and the IFP.

A fresh special council meeting has been called for Wednesday to elect a new mayor at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre.

WhatsApp your views on this story to 071 485 7995.

Daily News