Durban - As if the challenge of fixing municipalities in KZN is not enough, the top five of the ANC’s provincial executive committee has now been summoned to appear at Luthuli House on Monday.
According to three party insiders, the leadership is set to be grilled for appointing Mxolisi Kaunda as eThekwini mayor allegedly without the approval of the top national executive committee as per the ANC’s constitution on the appointments of mayors in metros and other economic hubs.
“What I know is that they have been summoned to Luthuli House to explain their decision to appoint mayors without consulting the top six... Remember that Zandile Gumede and Mondli Mthembu visited Luthuli House to complain about the way they were being treated by the provincial leadership,” one well placed ANC insider said.
Another insider said the Luthuli house meeting was due to the fact that Gumede had allegedly delivered a dossier to the party’s secretary-general Ace Magashulu detailing how she was accused of corruption she never committed.
However, ANC KZN spokesman Ricardo Mthembu denied that the mooted meeting had anything to do with the chaos in eThekwini after Kaunda’s inauguration and the rest of the council, scheduled to take place on Thursday, was postponed.
Mthembu explained that the reason for the postponement was because they were unable to persuade one of their councillors to resign to give them the three seats they need.
The seat would have allowed them to install Kaunda as mayor, Belinda Scott a deputy mayor and Weziwe Thusi as speaker. But they currently have two vacant seats.
“The meeting you are talking about will indeed take place but it has nothing to do with the issues of eThekwini. It was scheduled long ago as we requested it to deal with several issues like the issue of the task team that is dealing with political killings in the province,” Mthembu insisted.
Contradicting Mthembu, in a statement issued after the postponement, the municipality said the decision to postpone the sitting was taken because there were not enough agenda items to convene the full council meeting.
“This is as a result of the postponement of the Executive Committee meeting on 20 August after opposition parties left the meeting. This resulted in the Executive Committee being unable to sit and the meeting being postponed,” it said.
Mthembu meanwhile insisted that the provincial executive committee (PEC) had the powers to appoint mayors for big cities and they have to consult with the top six.
Political analyst Xolani Dube, of Xubera Institute, described events in eThekwini as chaos, saying they showed that there was a political leadership vacuum in the province, and adding that the stakeholder that suffered the most in the debacle, was the electorate.