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Opposition parties cautiously welcome IFP’s axing of mayor, councillor

Abaqulusi Local Municipality mayor Mncedisi Maphisa has been recalled by his party, the IFP. Picture supplied

Abaqulusi Local Municipality mayor Mncedisi Maphisa has been recalled by his party, the IFP. Picture supplied

Published Mar 8, 2023


Durban — Opposition parties in KwaZulu-Natal have cautiously welcomed the IFP’s removal of Abaqulusi Local Municipality mayor Mncedisi Maphisa and Alfred Duma councillor Abbas Warasally from their positions and the redeployment of Abaqulusi speaker Mkhonyovu Khumalo.

In its weekly national executive committee meeting on Monday, the IFP announced that it had recalled Maphisa, while Khumalo has been redeployed to the Zululand District Municipality to the executive council (Exco).

The party also announced the removal of Warasally after he allegedly used his position and slept with a contracted municipality worker in order to renew her contract.

The ANC spokesperson in the province, Mafika Mndebele, said although his party welcomed the new developments, the party position remained that the IFP was a tribalist, partriachal and sexist. He said people of the province knew that IFP had never respected women and would not change.

“We welcome the latest developments but our position has not changed. The leopard would not change its spots so to us IFP remains a sexist and partriachist organisation,” said Mndebele.

Speaking on behalf of residents living under the Abaqulusi Local Municipality, community activist Lindokuhle Xulu said recalling the mayor was not enough, adding that Maphisa did not deserve even to be an ordinary councillor.

He said it was shocking that the IFP felt he should remain a councillor in the same municipality where he had made sexual comments about women.

Xulu, who led a march demanding that the mayor and speaker step down, said the community was still not happy that deputy mayor Mandla Mazibuko was allowed to act in the mayor’s position as he was also tainted, having allegedly called marchers baboons.

“As the community living under this municipality, we welcome the removal of the mayor and speaker but we are not happy the mayor would continue as a councillor here. We do not think that man still deserves to be a public servant.”

The DA also welcomed the action taken by the IFP. In a statement issued by the party’s provincial leader, Francois Rogers, it said effective and clean governance could only be achieved through consequence and accountability, adding that the IFP’s decision bodes well for the future relationship with the DA towards the 2024 general elections.

Maphisa allegedly made sexual remarks during his meeting with the staff, which included women. His comments during the meeting were recorded and went viral.

Speaker Khumalo was also caught off-guard, allegedly instructing the municipal manager to ensure that the late councillor’s family members were hired in the municipality and, where there was no space, the ANC-aligned worker must be fired to make way for the councillor’s family member.

Warasally was allegedly recorded having sex with a contracted worker who wanted to keep her job. The victim has since opened a rape case against the councillor.

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