DA leader Zwakele Mncwango addresses DA and IFP members outside Durban’s city hall. Mncwango has called for the mayor to step down.
The showdown between mayor Zandile Gumede and DA leader Zwakele Mncwango continued on Tuesday, culminating in the two being involved in a heated debate during the full sitting of the eThekwini council.

Before the start of the council meeting, DA councillors led by Mncwango picketed outside the City Hall, calling for Gumede to step down.

“The DA is sick and tired of the ongoing looting of public funds in eThekwini Municipality under Mayor Zandile Gumede,” Mncwango said after the picket which was also attended by IFP caucus leader Mdu Nkosi.

The DA protest came a day after Gumede asked council Speaker Lekgoa Mapena to investigate the conduct of Mncwango, whom she accused of bringing the city into disrepute.

Gumede had argued that Mncwango was “peddling lies” about the affairs of the city on public platforms and through the media.

At the sitting of the council, the two continued to engage in heated exchanges. One of these centred on the R3 million maidens' conference which will be hosted by the city later this month.

Mncwango had questioned the amount being spent on the maidens' conference. Zooming in on one item in the estimated budget, Mncwango questioned why the city was prepared to spend R230000 on eight cows, saying the price tag was ridiculous. “Where do you get a cow for R31000?” he asked.

But Gumede hit back, saying that when the matter was presented at the executive committee she had made it clear that the R3m budget was merely an estimate.

“We cannot politicise the issue of amakhosi and maidens, we are a caring city Here comes a certain organisation busy politicising such matter. He knows exactly what transpired in the executive committee, I really feel offended Mr Speaker,” said Gumede.

Gumede said the officials were revising the report and Mncwango was aware of this. “You cannot come here and lie to the public. Speaker, I take this personally because this boy is doing his own things.”

Mapena weighed in, saying the estimates did not reflect the actual amount that will be spent. He said the actual cost would be determined only once the invoices have been received.

“If then it is found that each cow cost R32000, those who procured it will have to explain it.”

The DA complained about the manner in which the Speaker had presided over the proceedings, accusing him of being biased.

The Mercury