Themba Njilo Picture: Archives
Durban - SOON-to-be former mayor of Msunduzi Municipality Themba Njilo, who was fired by the ANC this week, says he did his best in an environment that was fraught with internal political challenges.

Njilo, speaking after he and his executive board had been sacked, did not elaborate on what these challenges were but said they had made it harder for him to do his job.

When he was brought in to replace Chris Ndlela after the 2016 local government elections, Njilo’s appointment was not widely welcomed.

Njilo said while under his leadership the municipality had done a lot for the people of Msunduzi: “I came from a different environment (private business) and in the municipality there is a different way of working.”

He said despite the challenges, he had worked to develop the community of Msunduzi and even when he left office, he will continue with that work.

He distanced himself from the problems that led to the municipality being placed under administration.

“The mayor has nothing to do with the collapse of the municipality. That is the issue of administration. There is nowhere where it says the mayor did this and even the reports on the issue state as much.”

Speaking of the axing, Njilo said they were called to the ANC office yesterday and told the executive should all “step aside” from all the responsibilities they had been assigned.

“As things stand, we are still waiting for the ANC to give us letters. I am still in my office finalising things so there can be a proper handover to the next mayor,” he said.

ANC provincial secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli said a fair assessment of the mayors had been done before they were fired.

“We said, when we deployed you (mayor) to the municipality more than two years ago, the financial state of the municipality, the audit outcomes by the A-G, the quality of service on the ground and the public perception were at this level (high). The evidence today is contrary.”

Commenting on the axing of Njilo and eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede, IFP provincial chairperson Thami Ntuli said: “Their failure to provide good leadership have rendered both the municipalities dysfunctional.”

The DA caucus leader in Msunduzi, Sibongiseni Majola, said Njilo lacked the necessary local government background.

The Mercury