Durban - Essential government departments were forced to shut down in the KwaDukuza Municipality on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast on Wednesday, due to ANC members protesting against their leaders’ decision to lift the suspension of the regional secretary, a convicted killer.
The group of ANC members in the party’s General Gizenga Mpanza Region said they decided to protest after hearing that the ANC’s provincial leadership was considering lifting the suspension of Musa Zondi, who is appealing his murder conviction and the 26-year jail sentence imposed on him by the Pietermaritzburg High Court in October.
The government departments affected were: economic development; agriculture; community safety and liaison; co-operative governance and traditional affairs; and education, as well as the offices of the Independent Electoral Commission of SA.
Zondi, 36, was recalled by the provincial executive committee soon after being sentenced to 14 years’ jail for murder, and 12 years for assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and kidnapping. He and co-convicts killed a man in his Ntunjambili home village outside Kranskop in northern KZN in 2015, after they suspected him of breaking into his family’s shop.
The ANC’s KwaDukuza sub-region deputy chairperson, Mthembeni Zuma, said it would be a breach of the ANC’s constitution to reinstate Zondi. “We’re sure that he’s been reinstated. This has been confirmed by sources within the provincial working committee.
“The PWC sat on Monday and came up with a recommendation that he should be reinstated, which was wrong because the ANC should not even be discussing this matter.
“Rule 25 (17) of the ANC’s constitution makes it clear that if you are convicted and sentenced to more than 12 months in prison, you should be recalled from all leadership positions,” he pointed out.
He told the protesters that they should not allow the ANC to be led by “murderers”.
“Musa Zondi should leave the ANC and focus on his appeal, since he committed these offences as an individual, and not as an ANC leader,” Zuma said.
Municipal manager Nhlanhla Mdakane issued a statement informing residents that the municipality had been forced to shut down until further notice due to the protest.
“These precautionary measures were taken in consideration of the safety of the municipality’s staff, their assets and clients,” Mdakane said.
Municipal spokesperson Sifiso Zulu said the protesters approached the municipality’s head office at about 9am, demanding all staff members vacate the building. They also prevented street cleaners from working.