Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency(ANA).

Pietermaritzburg - The African National Congress (ANC) in the Moses Mabhida Region and Msunduzi Municipality (Pietermaritzburg) on Wednesday have dismissed rumours that Msunduzi Mayor Themba Njilo has resigned or that his deputy Thobani Zuma has been arrested. 

The comments from the two structures followed rumours circulating on Tuesday evening about the two leaders. The rumours were compounded by Njilo’s absence from a regular council sitting on Wednesday, with many suggesting that he had resigned following mounting problems at the municipality.

Although Zuma attended the council meeting, this did little to quell the speculation over his future and that of the mayor.

Msunduzi Municipality’s acting spokesperson Ntobeko Ngcobo said the municipality was operating without any problems. She admitted that the past 24 hours had been difficult for the municipality amid the rumours and speculation.

“The municipality would like to advise members of the public that there is no truth in the rumours that the mayor has resigned. The mayor could not  attend the meeting as he is on sick leave,” Ngcobo said.  

ANC Moses Mabhida Regional Task Team Co-ordinator Mandla Zondi said they became aware of the rumours but had decided against commenting. 

"We are not in the habit of responding to social media gossip," Zondi said. 

He dismissed the rumours as a ploy to distabilise the municipality, which is the biggest of the seven municipalities within in uMgungundlovu district. 

“Look at how this rumour was structured, it targets two of the most senior office bearers in the municipality and we believe that the end game in all of this is to make Msunduzi chaotic by spreading rumours about its senior leaders,” Zondi said. 

The municipality is under administration following a provincial government decision to intervene after a string of governance and service delivery challenges. 

African News Agency/ANA