uMkhanyakude Municipality crisis deepens as the IFP and ANC clash
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DURBAN - THE IFP in the uMkhanyakude Municipality has called on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Sipho Hlomuka to recall Bamba Ndwandwe as the administrator.
The party has accused Ndwandwe of secretly working with the ANC to remove its mayor from power. The IFP leader in the municipality, Makhosonke Sithole, spoke to the Daily News on Tuesday after the scheduled council meeting did not take place as councillors were locked out by protesters.
The meeting was to discuss two motions of no confidence filed by the ANC and IFP. Council was also expected to discuss the issue of R135 million which was withdrawn from the municipality’s primary account and placed into a new account, apparently without council or municipal manager Mxolisi Nkosi’s knowledge.
The issue of the money is at the centre of the IFP and ANC squabbles. Sithole claimed Ndwandwe did this together with the ANC to sabotage the mayor so that people would look at him as a failure and protest against the municipality.
“Since Ndwandwe came to the municipality, the IFP has realised he has caused more problems than solving them. One of Ndwandwe’s key tasks outlined by Cogta MEC Hlomuka on February 16, when he introduced him, was to ensure that in the first council meeting he would table the forensic report which had gathered dust because the council had not sat since last July.”
According to Sithole, to date the report has never been tabled before council, and former mayor Solomon Mkhondo was to be implicated in it.
“Ndwandwe is on a mission to help the ANC get us out of power. He is caught up in ANC factional battles. This is evident by his refusal to table the report that everyone knows will implicate the former mayor. Contractors working in water projects have not been paid as workers decided to block the gate here, but Ndwandwe said the R135m was ring-fenced for water projects, so he must go,” said Sithole.
Sithole said he suspected that Tuesday’s protest was orchestrated to stop the meeting because the IFP was going to raise the issue of the R135m and of the corruption report.
One of the protesters, Bhekuyise Mpontshane, said they decided to protest because they have been waiting for two months to be paid. He said they were working for the contractor who received the tender to install water pipes and who told them he too had not been paid.
Cogta spokesperson Senzo Mzila said the department would not comment on the allegations against Ndwandwe because it had not received any formal communiqué from the IFP.
On the R135m, Mzila said the department was aware that the municipality issued a statement clarifying the misconception regarding this matter.
Ndwandwe and municipality spokesperson Mduduzi Dlamini were sent questions by the Daily News and had not commented at the time of publication.