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DA unveils deputy mayor-elect in uMngeni Municipality

New leadership of Umngeni Municipality, Mayor elect Chris Pappas and Deputy Mayor Elect Sandile Mnikathi. Picture: Supplied.

New leadership of Umngeni Municipality, Mayor elect Chris Pappas and Deputy Mayor Elect Sandile Mnikathi. Picture: Supplied.

Published Nov 9, 2021

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DURBAN - EMPLOYEES who have been implicated by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) report into allegations of wrongdoing in the uMngeni Municipality will receive no protection under the new DA administration, and should expect to face the consequences of their actions.

That is the warning from the party’s new deputy mayor-elect, Sandile Mnikathi.

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Mnikathi was unveiled at the party’s office in Durban yesterday. He will deputise for mayor-elect Chris Pappas after the DA seized control of the municipality in the local government elections last week.

“We intend to be a government that has an open-door policy to the public, that is responsive to the needs of the community.

“As the provincial leader Francois Rodgers has said, the workers currently at the municipality who wish to work with the DA will not be interfered with.

“But we will not protect the workers who have been implicated in allegations of wrongdoing by the SIU. We will be calling for the processing of the report by council to be fast-tracked so we can determine who is cleared of wrongdoing, and who should face consequence management,” said Mnikathi.

The SIU report refers to the misuse of council funds. The officials are accused of taking funding meant for the construction of roads and using it to fund Covid-19 expenditure, allegedly without council approval.

Mnikathi also spoke of the service-delivery challenges that need to be tackled. He said a key challenge was crumbling infrastructure. He said roads were in a state of disrepair and filled with potholes, and stormwater drains also needed to be fixed. He added that these were among the challenges that were driving away potential investors.

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“We have learnt that our landfill site is not compliant, so we will need to address that – we do not want to face a situation like that of the Msunduzi Municipality,” he said.

In a statement, the DA said Mnikathi would work side by side with Pappas.

“This young councillor has gone through a rigorous candidate selection process that we subject all of our public representatives to,” read the statement.

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It described Mnikathi as a proud resident of uMngeni. He went to Howick

Prep and then to Howick Secondary schools.

He holds a Bachelor of Social Science degree in Political Science and Philosophy. He also holds an Honours degree in International Relations, a Master’s degree in Political Science and is currently studying towards a PhD in Political Science.

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It said Mnikathi had a proven political track record in the DA. He currently is a member of the DA KZN Provincial Executive Committee and Provincial Management Committee.

“The DA in KZN has full faith in Mnikathi and believes that alongside mayor-elect Pappas, he will rebuild uMngeni to be the shining example of how a transparent, corruption-free municipality can deliver services to its residents,” read the statement.

THE MERCURY

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