Opposition bank on MK to remove Kaunda

eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda is under the spotlight again as parties vote for his removal today. Picture: Supplied

eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda is under the spotlight again as parties vote for his removal today. Picture: Supplied

Published Jan 31, 2024


Durban — Independent political analyst Thobani Zikalala says both motions filed by the opposition parties in eThekwini Municipality would be a test of whether the uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party has successfully managed to infiltrate the ANC caucus or not.

Today (Wednesday), in Durban, the eThekwini full council would debate and vote on whether mayor Mxolisi Kaunda must be removed from office or not.

The motion, filed by the IFP, will be followed by the DA’s, which Speaker Thabani Nyawose would have to call a special meeting for.

The IFP’s motion is against Kaunda’s failure to ensure that the City was functioning properly and servicing residents. The motion was immediately filed by the party shortly after the Daily News article towards the end of last year which revealed that the City had to return R1.9 billion of the infrastructure grant because the City under Kaunda’s leadership had failed to spend it.

The DA’s motion is for a dissolution of the council since, it says, the City administration under the ANC with Kaunda at the helm has no capacity at all to govern.

Reacting to the motions, Zikalala said these motions came at a very interesting time; the opposition was banking on the seemingly influential MK party to dislodge the ANC in eThekwini.

Zikalala said: “We are waiting to see how much of a dent the MK party has inflicted on the ANC in eThekwini, so these motions would prove whether the former president Jacob Zuma-backed party has support or not in the ANC caucus.”

However, he was quick to point out that his main concern was the “politics of stomach”, which may hinder ANC councillors from removing Kaunda since they might put their own interest first over that of suffering residents, especially those in the northern areas of the City who have been without water for weeks.

With 40% of the population of KZN residing in eThekwini and with a R60 billion budget, the City was a battleground for political control because of the resources, he said.

The MK party would benefit from the dissolution of the council since that would give it an opportunity to contest elections to build its support base with resources for the local government elections in 2026, he said. Success for the ANC to save the City would bolster it ahead of its manifesto launch, he added.

The ANC appears to be on the back foot ahead of the motion today (Wednesday), with persistent water cuts in the northern areas. The opposition has been maximising its attack as the visible evidence of failures under the ANC/EFF coalition.

There are rumours that the three councillors the ANC said it was taking disciplinary action against were in eThekwini, however, Nyawose denied that. The speaker said the only senior member who has joined the MK party in eThekwini was Siphiwe Mpungose, a regional executive committee member.

Mpungose, from KwaMashu, has already been appointed the party co-ordinator in the province. Nyawose said that as a member of the caucus and regional body of the ANC, he knew no councillor secretly working for the MK party. The party has recently held a rally in ward 1 in KwaXimba, an ANC stronghold.

Many parties were still locked in their caucus meetings by deadline, but the DA had resolved to back the IFP, calling for a secret vote so that the councillors vote with their conscience.

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