Durban — The Abantu Batho Congress (ABC) has called upon the senior leadership of the ANC to intervene and put a stop to a move to remove eThekwini Municipality deputy mayor Philani Mavundla from the executive committee.
This was after the news that there was a planned move to oust Mavundla from the council during Thursday’s sitting.
ABC secretary-general Phumelele Phahla said on Thursday that the people of Durban deserved to know that councillor Mavundla, the ABC president, had been informed by the ANC leadership in eThekwini of its intention to remove him from his position as chairperson of the human settlements and infrastructure cluster, which would mean removal from the executive committee.
“The ANC in eThekwini’s desperate bid to cling to power has led them to completely lose focus and conveniently forget the terms of the coalition agreement that the party entered with the Abantu Batho Congress-led bloc of parties,” read a statement from the ABC.
The ABC-led bloc brought 12 seats to the coalition and the agreement was that the ANC would govern the city in partnership with the bloc.
The party clarified that although Mavundla had spent the greater part of his life as an ANC member, he left the ANC when he realised it was no longer the ANC he joined.
“If the ANC thinks that the ABC is just another puppet coalition partner, we wish to let them know that they are mistaken and that they ought to rethink their position. We invite the senior leadership of the ANC to intervene and put a stop to this madness. Philani Godfrey Mavundla is not going anywhere,” the ABC said.
The party said Mavundla’s only crime was his strong work ethic and holding officials and political leadership accountable.
On Thursday eThekwini Municipality issued a statement saying the council meeting would be reconvened within seven days, in accordance with the council rules.
The city said the full council meeting was adjourned as it couldn’t start on time and two main parties were not at the meeting.
“Before the adjournment, the meeting was disrupted by members of the EFF who were chanting and calling for eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda to resign. They cited challenges with sanitation repairs and relocation of flood victims from mass care centres as their reasons to call for his resignation. In addition, the DA walked out of the meeting before it was officially adjourned.”
The DA had raised an objection to the procedure after the meeting was delayed. The meeting was scheduled to start at 10, and the rules of council dictate that if the meeting has been delayed by more than 30 minutes, it must be rescheduled.
DA councillor Warren Burne said they had tried to save the meeting, but failed and had to walk out.
eThekwini DA leader Thabani Mthethwa said: “The DA was eager to end the year on a high note by tabling solutions and addressing issues facing the city. This, however, was not to be since the ANC disregarded council rules and delayed the start of the meeting.”
Imtiaz Syed of Active Citizens Coalition (ACC) said: “Apparently the ANC was planning to have the deputy mayor removed. Whilst this was happening, the DA called caucus and upon returning left the meeting, whilst the EFF protested unilaterally causing chaos and disrupting the meeting. They then rallied, calling for the mayor to be removed. This is when the speaker’s committee convened to discuss a way forward.”
IFP eThekwini regional leader Mdu Nkosi said: “We wanted to know when the sewerage problems that are engulfing eThekwini are going to be solved?”
EFF KZN spokesperson Thabani Miya also complained about the sewage problems and asked when flood victims still living in community halls would be provided with permanent shelter.
eThekwini Municipality said it was public knowledge that the city’s infrastructure was severely affected by the floods.
“This challenge was compounded by unavailability of funds to repair and restore the infrastructure speedily. It was only in September that the city received funding of R184 million for the rehabilitation of roads and water and sanitation infrastructure,” it said.
ANC eThekwini spokesperson Mlondi Mkhize said the party realised that Mavundla and the ABC were no longer assisting the ANC in taking service delivery to the people, hence the move to oust him as deputy mayor.