ANC summons Umvoti mayor over 'shocking' R11.8m security bill
Durban - The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has summoned a mayor to explain how his rural municipality spent millions of rand on his private security guards.
Provincial chairperson Ricardo Mthembu said the party was also aggrieved at Umvoti Municipality mayor Thamsanqa Ngubane revealing the huge expenditure to the media while the provincial executive committee (PEC) was left in the dark.
“We have requested a report on the issues surrounding Umvoti because other things shock us when we hear about them,” said Mthembu.
Ngubane had last week told a media briefing in Durban that the council had since November spent R11.3 million on a private company that was providing security for himself and seven senior managers.
Municipality spokesperson Phindile Phungula later revealed that R11.8m had been spent on Ngubane’s security alone since he took over in 2016. She also said another R4.6m of the R11m had been spent on the managers’ security since November.
Ngubane said the council had taken the decision after his mother’s house in Greytown was set alight in 2016, which he said he took as a threat to his life. He also said the private security service was extended to the seven managers after the municipality’s community services director, Thobani Ndaba, was gunned down inside council premises a day after he was promoted to the post in November.
Ngubane believed that if he did not have private security guards, he would have been killed.
Mthembu said the ANC needed Ngubane to justify the expenditure.
“We take it seriously when comrades are under threat, but we would also want to ensure that public funds are used correctly.
“We are not casting any aspersion, but we would like to know what happened,” he said.
Mthembu could not say when the PEC would meet Ngubane.
Mthembu said the party was also unhappy with Ngubane bypassing the ANC and calling a press briefing about municipal matters that affected the party’s reputation.
“We were expecting this to be first reported to us as the ANC, but we got information through the media.
“We must state that this did not make us happy, and he should explain why he started with the media on the matter that the ANC should have first been informed about,” he said.
He said although mayors and councillors accounted to the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, deployees of the ANC should also account to the party.