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ANC regional secretary takes Senzo Mchunu to task for endorsing disputed IFP Umkhanyakude leadership

Water and Sanitation Minister Senzo Mchunu. Picture: Ntswe Mokoena/GCIS.

Water and Sanitation Minister Senzo Mchunu. Picture: Ntswe Mokoena/GCIS.

Published May 23, 2022


Durban - A regional secretary of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has taken issue with the decision of the water and sanitation minister’s decision to meet the IFP’s leadership of the Umkhanyakude District Municipality.

Verus Ngcamphalala, of the ANC’s Far North region, claims that Minister Senzo Mchunu’s decision has helped legitimise a leadership structure that grabbed power through illegal means.

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The largely rural and semi-arid district municipality has for the past three weeks been in political and administrative turmoil after the IFP claimed that it has voted Siphile Mdaka, an ANC district mayor, out of power.

In response, Mdaka, the regional chairperson of the governing party, and speaker Solomon Mkhombo claimed that the meeting was illegally convened and all decisions taken there were illegal and not binding.

In the interim, the ANC has rushed to court to set aside the meeting that got IFP’s Tim Moodley elected mayor, Innocent Mkhwanazi as his deputy and Petros Madlopha as speaker.

The court case will be heard on May 30 at the Pietermaritzburg High Court. In the interim, the ANC has also obtained an order evicting the IFP’s trio out of the office until the matter has been settled.

On Friday, Mchunu led a delegation to the district as he sought to end its decades-old water crisis. He found himself having to meet Moodley, which the ANC in the region does not recognise.

An angered Ngcamphalala posted the picture of Mchunu and Moodley’s meeting and accused Mchunu of aiding the IFP.

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“Minister of the ANC validating IFP and bogus exco (executive committee of the municipality), now we know who is backing the project to unseat the ANC!” Ngcamphalala wrote on his Facebook page before he was advised to delete the post.

By the time he deleted it, it had already been screen-grabbed and circulated among ANC members who were left divided over the matter.

When the Daily News on Sunday asked Ngcamphala about the matter, he stuck to his guns, saying: “That is not an attack it’s a fact, ANC is in court. This is too deep… The minister went to that IFP meeting without meeting the ANC,” he claimed and shared court papers showing that they are challenging the IFP in court.

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Unbothered, Mchunu gave the Daily News a detailed history of the water crisis in the area and said Ngcamphalala had, at some point, sat in a meeting where it was discussed.

The Facebook post by Ngcamphalala.

Despite the controversial Facebook post, Mchunu, whose rural home in the village of eNhlwathi, Hlabisa, falls under the district municipality, said he harbours no ill-feeling towards his comrades.

“I don’t understand why I am accused of unseating. Unseating who because I am not coming there with local government-related matters. I just write a letter saying I am coming as water and sanitation, I want us to discuss one topic, who is doing whatever. I did not come here to help anybody to unseat anyone… I am being honest. I even said that I know that the mayor is changed now and then, and I will come back to monitor my projects, I don’t know whether you will still be the mayor or not.

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“That is not important to us, we will invite whoever is mayor then and then we monitor water and sanitation projects there. So, it is not factual that I was there to unseat or seat, even the agenda (was clear). I was not going to say how did you get in, how did you come out and so. I was with councillors there.”

Mchunu said when he found the time, he would try to meet Ngcamphalala and discuss the matter.

Daily News