KZN MEC’s gloating about ANC government achievement goes awry after congregation’s booing and howling

Nkonyeni was taken to task over comment about RDP houses while speaking in a church in KwaMashu. Picture:Tumi Pakkies/African News Agency(ANA)

Nkonyeni was taken to task over comment about RDP houses while speaking in a church in KwaMashu. Picture:Tumi Pakkies/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Apr 10, 2023


Durban - KwaZulu-Natal finance MEC and ANC heavyweight Peggy Nkonyeni was left red-faced on Friday when members of the Methodist church in KwaMashu did not take kindly to her using their platform to campaign for her party.

Nkonyeni visited the church on Friday as several party leaders were all over the province to worship with different denominations.

The church located in the G section of KwaMashu township, in the north of Durban, then gave her the platform to speak to members.

According to some members of the church who were there, Nkonyeni started well and stuck to religious scripts.

Things took a sudden turn when Nkonyeni allegedly told the congregation that some people were claiming that the ANC government was not doing anything for the people yet they live in RDP houses - which is an achievement.

It has been alleged that did not sit well with almost all those who were in attendance, with some youth members seated at the back booing her and howling as she spoke.

“It was the part about RDP houses that pitted her against the congregation and some church members felt that she was demeaning to the poor.

“Some youths who were seated at the back shouted and booed her saying she must leave the podium since she was campaigning at the wrong time,” one church member told IOL.

Another one who confirmed the claim, said Nkonyeni was saved when one of the pastors intervened and asked church members to calm down.

“That part about RDPs did not sit well with the people who demanded that she must leave the podium.

“She was saved by the intervention of one of our Bishops who reined in and told members to remember that they are in church and they should behave accordingly,” the member said.

Nkonyeni’s spokesperson Thuba Vilane said she did speak about the achievements of the ANC, but denied that she was booed.

“She also spoke about the work that the ANC-led government has done in changing people’s lives, while also acknowledging some challenges that still exist in our societies.

“She mentioned the fact that due to some of these challenges we tend to forget what has been achieved by the government.

“Some of the notable successes of this government is the provision of RDP houses to millions of South Africans including those from eThekwini and KwaMashu.

“The government has also opened doors of education to millions of young people.

“‘MEC Nkonyeni is a seasoned politician and public servant who has been working hard in ensuring that communities are equally developed, and that there is equal share of opportunities that does not only benefit people from urban areas but rural and township communities do also benefit,” Vilane said.

Vilane added that it was undisputed that the ANC-led government has built houses for the poor and that is not being insensitive.

“It is an undisputed fact that the ANC government has built houses for the millions of people in this country, the majority of whom were previously disadvantaged by the apartheid government and whom did not have proper housing prior to 1994 and as a result desperately needed homes.

“It has never come to our attention that MEC Nkonyeni was booed by church members, it is our understanding that her speech sparked discussion among the congregants as she was touching on some of the issues that concern the well-being of communities.

“We were never made to believe that the MEC’s remarks were ‘insensitive’ as she was speaking the facts and never insulted anyone.”

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