eThekwini Metro rocked by claims deputy mayor could be replaced

Ethekwini deputy mayor Philani Mavundla. Picture: Nqobile Mbonambi/African News Agency (ANA)

Ethekwini deputy mayor Philani Mavundla. Picture: Nqobile Mbonambi/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Nov 8, 2022


Durban — eThekwini, KwaZulu-Natal’s biggest metro, has been rocked by claims that deputy mayor Philani Mavundla could be replaced soon.

ANC regional spokesperson Mlondi Mkhize said the party could answer questions related to the new coalition in eThekwini Metro if a planned media briefing goes ahead, on Tuesday.

Mavundla has been deputy mayor since the local government elections in November, 2021. He is the current leader of the Abantu Batho Congress, a party he founded in early 2020 after he resigned from the National Freedom Party.

With the ABC, after he formed a coalition with smaller parties, he secured the positions of deputy mayor and chairperson of the municipal public accounts committee (MPAC). The coalition gave the ANC the majority in the metro. Mavundla has been vocal about the way municipal operations were conducted, much to the dislike of the ANC.

He had previously dared the ANC to remove him, saying he had not come to politics for a salary.

A source revealed that the EFF and the National Freedom Party (NFP) have been earmarked for the deputy mayor and MPAC positions, following background meetings to keep the coalition stable and the ANC in power.

Sources said the ANC has offered the EFF the deputy mayor’s position and the NFP’s sole councillor Zandile Myeni is set to get the MPAC position for their participation in the coalition. Myeni is the leader of the small parties bloc and EFF councillor Thami Xuma is the current chairperson of MPAC.

The source said it was a matter of time before the ANC removed Mavundla through a motion of no confidence, so the parties felt they should start discussing how power would be shared in a new coalition.

Myeni said her bloc wanted a stable municipality to improve service delivery.

EFF provincial secretary Nkululeko Ngubane said the party’s national leadership would make a formal announcement including what positions would be allocated to the party, once an agreement has been reached.

Xuma and EFF exco member Thabani Miya are being tipped for deputy mayor’s position.

Other sources claim that another option will be Vusi Khoza, who has been a councillor under the ANC and understands the metro’s dynamics.

Khoza lost the chairperson contest to Mongezi Thwala, and as a result his future as legislature member has become uncertain.

All the previous top five are currently members of the legislature and only Thwala returned to the provincial hierarchy after the conference, which means Khoza as former chairperson could be removed to make way for new deputy chairperson Thobisile Nkosi. She is currently a councillor in the iLembe District Municipality.

Former treasurer Linda Mbhele could be replaced by new treasurer Wakeni Chuma. Sifiso Mthethwa, provincial secretary, could be replaced by new deputy secretary Hlengiwe Chiliza, who is a teacher in eThekwini.

Ngubane who is a new provincial secretary appears to be safe now as uMhlathuze Local Municipality’s deputy mayor but his stay hangs in the balance, as EFF plans to dump the IFP coalition.

Daily News