KwaDukuza municipality suffers paralysis as ANC factions wrestle for control
Durban - The almost two years of political paralysis at the KwaDukuza Municipality and ultimately in the ANC’s General Gizenga Mpanza (Ilembe) region in KwaZulu-Natal is set to linger longer as the Covid-19 outbreak is hampering the ruling party’s efforts to intervene and rein in its members.
This as the party says it is unable to penalise several councillors and regional leaders who are allegedly behind the recent collapse of a special council sitting called to elect Phumlile Zulu as mayor.
Two weeks ago, during a post provincial executive committee (PEC) meeting press conference in Durban, provincial secretary, Mdumiseni Ntuli, told the media that they had instructed their structures to convene the council sitting to elect Zulu as mayor.
However, in a turn of events, the defiance by the councillors continued despite a stern warning from the provincial leadership, with insiders claiming that one of the two factions fighting in the region instructed councillors to collapse the sitting.
“They started by collapsing the ANC caucus meeting by not showing up. Later when the council meeting was to be convened, they sent apologies and did not show up and the council meeting could not proceed as planned and Zulu could not be elected as per the wish of the province,” the source said.
ANC KZN spokesperson Ricardo Mthembu said the PEC would deal with the councillors as it had done with others. Previously, the ANC charged 19 Umzimkhulu Local Municipality councillors who employed the same tactics to prevent their party opponents from being elected into the executive committee (exco) which acts as the de-facto government.
However, Mthembu said the 21-day lockdown put in place to slow the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic means they would have to wait a bit longer before they could act.
“We are not going to tolerate party members who go against instructions. The PEC has been unable to deal with the issue of KwaDukuza because of the coronavirus pandemic,” Mthembu said.
KwaDukuza has been without a mayor for almost two years now after Mthembu (the ANC spokesperson) left the position to take up a PEC position. This has left the two factions of the party fighting over who should take over and the matter is now a hot potato as the region is heading for a crucial regional elective conference.