Durban – Opposition political parties in the eThekwini Municipality have called on the speaker, Thabani Nyawose, to take serious action against ANC councillors who did not attend a Full Council meeting in Durban today.
Opposition parties also wanted the ANC to foot the half a million rand bill for the hire of the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre (ICC) in Durban.
The meeting, which was supposed to fill the eThekwini deputy mayor and chief whip positions, was cancelled after the ANC did not attend the meeting on time.
Guided by the rules, Nyawose postponed the meeting after a 30-minute delay. In terms of the rules, if a meeting has been delayed for over 30 minutes, it becomes illegal to continue with it.
Nyawose refused to answer why the ANC was not at the meeting, arguing he was not its (ANC) spokesperson but said that he was told they were still having their caucus meeting.
“We book the venue, sound system, food, as well as bringing people here. The budget comes from my office, so I am concerned that money has been wasted. I will raise my concerns with the party whips,” Nyawose said.
After an hour, ANC councillors entered the hall and were heard saying they had been delayed by security guards who would not allow them to use the entry closer to the venue.
ANC acting regional chairperson Thembo Ntuli denied his party deliberately avoided the meeting. He said during their caucus meeting the party ward councillors raised pressing issues of service delivery, so they felt they must attend to the ward councillors’ concerns rather than coming to the meeting.
DA caucus leader Thabani Mthethwa said it was a shame that the ANC, after realising that it would lose, decided to collapse the meeting and wasted taxpayers’ money.
Mthethwa said that proved that the ANC was no longer interested in serving the city’s citizens, but themselves.
It was Inkatha Freedom Party’s (IFP) Mdu Nkosi who first raised the issue of cost, calling on Nyawose to ensure that the ANC is held accountable.
Nkosi said it was embarrassing that the ANC could do that to the people of eThekwini.
“It proved that they do not care about the needs of the people. What we saw today was an embarrassment. It proved that the ANC has forgotten the people of the city who voted for services. The party decided to run away,” said Nkosi.
Political party Abantu Batho Congress (ABC) chairperson Philani Mavundla also lambasted the ANC for undermining the people and said he had been made aware a week before the day of the meeting that the ANC was going to either disrupt it or run away so it did not have a quorum.
Mavundla, who was believed to have garnered enough numbers for the opposition to take both the deputy mayor and chief whip positions from the ANC, said it was clear the ANC was going to lose political power in eThekwini.
Another political party that was in the Full Council meeting was the EFF. EFF provincial chairperson Mongezi Thwala said they had applied for a leave of absence, so no one should blame them for the collapse of the meeting.
Thwala said his party was not going to vote, even if it had attended the meeting. He said their reason was that they did not agree with the candidates put forward by both the ANC bloc and DA-led bloc, adding his party felt the two candidates were not credible enough for the positions.
In terms of the line-up, the DA-led bloc had put forward IFP’s Mdu Nkosi and Imitiaz Syed, the leader of the Active Citizens Coalition (ACC).
WhatsApp your views on the story to 071 485 7995