ANC sacks mayor accused of assaulting a citizen
Durban - The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has acted against a mayor who is facing assault charges by firing her and a deputy mayor of another local municipality.
Winnie Nhlabathi, the embattled mayor of uPhongolo municipality on the South Africa-Swaziland borderline in northern KZN, was fired on Saturday.
The ANC has for quite some time been under pressure to sack Nhlabathi who, together with two of her municipality-provided bodyguards, is facing assault charges at the Pongola Magistrate’s Court. The alleged assault happened in February this year when a 24-year-old man trespassed in her home.
Nhlabathi referred all questions from Independent Media about her sacking to the party's head office in Durban. However, Independent Media has a leaked WhatsApp message she sent to her colleagues in the municipality and Mzala Nxumalo region (Zululand district) bidding them farewell.
In the message, she said she respected the decision to recall her and said the ANC was never wrong.
"Good evening comrades. The ANC PEC (provincial executive committee) has decided to withdraw me as the mayor of uPhongolo Municipality. I am grateful to have worked with you as the number one deployee in the municipality. We had our ups and downs, our failures and our successes, as individuals and as the collective also but at the end, the ANC would come victorious. We were not perfect but we were trying and learning day by day. Indeed it was not an easy journey. I am proud of the work we have done together in changing people's lives,” she said.
She said much was achieved by the rural municipality during her tenure as mayor and attributed her “success” to the support she received from party members.
Also sacked by the party was Ntsikelelo Ndlovu, the deputy mayor of the troubled eMadlangeni (Utrecht) in the north-west part of the province. Ndlovu, the outgoing deputy mayor of eMadlangeni confirmed the ANC in the province has instructed him to resign and he would abide by the instruction.
“Yes, it is true that I was instructed by my party to resign. I must stress that it was not because there was some misconduct on my part. None. It’s just that the municipality is having some challenges,” he said.
The spokesperson of the ANC in the province, Nhlakanipho Ntombela, confirmed they had recalled the two from their positions.
“There will be a press conference on Tuesday where we will give reasons why we recalled them. This is a PEC decision… and yes we can confirm that we have recalled them,” Ntombela said.