Pietermaritzburg - Opposition parties have raised questions over the election of Mluleki Ndobe as the new KwaZulu-Natal Legislature Deputy Speaker, saying his recent brush with the law warranted him being omitted for nomination by the ruling African National Congress (ANC).
Ndobe was recently arrested and spent over a week in police custody on suspicion of involvement in the murder of former ANC Youth League Secretary General Sindiso Magaqa. The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), Democratic Alliance (DA) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) all agreed that Ndobe should not have accepted the position.
EFF leader Vusi Khoza said the newly elected deputy speaker still had to convince everyone about his innocence.
"He should have taken the cue from other ANC colleagues such as Malusi Gigaba and Nomvula Mokonyane who declined nomination because they realised the enormity of the clouds hanging over them," said Khoza.
He added that while they believed in the principle of innocent until proven guilty the charges that he faced were very serious.
IFP leader Velenkosini Hlabisa said they were worried about the new deputy speaker. "We have our doubts over Ndobe because he was arrested and initially refused bail and spent over a week in police custody, he is on public recording as saying he would name the people behinds his arrest. Today he took an oath to be truthful, so the challenge is now upon him to do so because if he fails there is nothing honourable about him," said the leader of the official position.
DA leader Zwakele Mncwango echoed the sentiments of other opposition parties, saying Ndobe was too tainted to assume the new role.
Ndobe, however, dismissed the opposition comments, and said everything should be left to the ANC as the ruling party had seen him suitable for the position.
African News Agency/ANA