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ANC’s ‘power grab’ in Dannhauser fails after it is told new Speaker could not be elected

Dannhauser municipal manager Shaka Cele said he advised the ANC councillors to seek guidance from Cogta. Picture: Dannahauser Local Municipality Facebook page

Dannhauser municipal manager Shaka Cele said he advised the ANC councillors to seek guidance from Cogta. Picture: Dannahauser Local Municipality Facebook page

Published May 24, 2023


Dannhauser - The ANC-EFF-CPF alliance’s bid to force the IFP-led Dannhauser Local Municipality in northern KwaZulu-Natal to convene a special council sitting and elect a “new Speaker” has fallen flat.

There was drama on Tuesday within the municipality’s premises when they argued that Speaker Xolani Nkosi had resigned, so municipal manager Shaka Cele should convene the special sitting.

The ANC and its alliance partners’ push to have the special council sitting started in early April when Nkosi resigned.

However, three days later, Nkosi withdrew his resignation and returned to his post, throwing a spanner in the works.

IOL learnt from its sources that by the time Nkosi resigned the municipality had already scheduled May 23 as the date for the special council sitting to elect a new Speaker.

The ANC’s push was informed by the fact that it was on equal footing with the IFP and Team Sugar South Africa (TSSA) which when combined, hold 12 of the 25 council seats.

They believed the 13th seat that gave the IFP-TSSA alliance the upper hand had been taken away by Nkosi’s resignation.

On Monday, Nkosi issued a notice to postpone the council sitting scheduled for the following day.

However, that did not prevent the ANC, EFF and CPF from convening inside council chambers and demanding the meeting to go ahead, insisting that Nkosi had resigned.

The three parties demanded that Cele should convene the sitting as Nkosi had resigned.

“They convened inside chambers and demanded that the MM (municipal manager) should convene the sitting,” a source told IOL.

The demand sparked a different interpretation as Cele said he was not legally empowered to convene the council.

Cele said he advised the ANC and its alliance partners to seek the guidance of the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) led by Bongi Sithole-Moloi over the matter.

“However, in compliance with the law, and its protocol, the municipal manager could not oblige to the request to preside over the meeting and had requested the councillors to seek guidance from Cogta,” Cele said.

Cele also confirmed that there was a heavy presence of armed people within their premises, but said they posed no threat as they were guarding their political masters.

He said after the incident, it’s now business as usual for the municipality.

“While taking into cognisance that there were no added threats, we can confirm that there were armed protectors within the premises who were guarding the political leadership.

“We can confirm that the working environment was not volatile at all, normal duties continued as usual as the matter only involved political leadership and not municipal staff.”

The regional secretary of the ANC in the Mbuso Kubheka region (Amajuba district municipality), Chris Mhlophe, did not respond when IOL asked him whether according to the legal advice they got, Nkosi was still in office.

He also did not disclose who they intended to field for the positions of mayor and Speaker should the contest go to a vote.

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