Durban - The ANC has expressed concerns about the growing number of its public representatives arrested over their implication in political killings, saying they must be fired.
On Sunday, the ANC’s subcommittee on governance and legislature held a briefing where the party’s leaders outlined electoral promises for the upcoming general elections.
The party said it was disturbed by the latest arrests of mayors in KwaZulu-Natal in connection with political killings, including the murder of former ANC Youth League secretary- general Sindiso Magaqa.
ANC national spokesperson Dakota Legoete said Luthuli House had instructed the KZN provincial structure to institute a process of ensuring that those arrested who occupied public office were removed.
“We as the ANC are on the side of the victims, especially the deceased. We have instructed the PEC (provincial executive committee) to sit as early as tomorrow and pronounce itself on the due process as outlined in the constitution of the ANC.
“Our instruction is very clear to our provincial structure. It is that we cannot have serving mayors who are in custody,” Legoete said.
The arrested mayors include Harry Gwala district mayor and provincial chairperson of the South African Local Government Association Mluleki Ndobe, who sits at number three on the ANC’s list for the provincial legislature.
Legoete said that while the party did not declare those accused guilty already, keeping them in their positions would be unfair to communities who wanted continuous services from local government.
“The community needs services, so the provincial leadership there must take decisions that are in the interests of the communities where these mayors come from. We hope they will not disappoint us,” he said.
ANC KZN chairman Sihle Zikalala told the media on the sidelines of the Mayihlome rally held in Durban at Moses Mabhida stadium yesterday that they were working on the processes to follow regarding these matters.
He said they would ensure that the public knew their next course of action after exhausting all internal processes to ensure fairness.
“As to what we are going to do (about these mayors), we are going to finalise it tomorrow (today) and I think during the course of the week, either Wednesday or Tuesday, we will be able to communicate the next course of action,” Zikalala said.
Zikalala was emphatic that they wanted action to be taken against suspected killers as it was his party that called for the Moerane commission that probed the killings, and it was also his party that asked the national government to establish a special task team to track the political killers when killings surged between 2011 and 2016.
“It is the ANC that called for the commission and it is also the ANC that pleaded for the deployment of that special task team to deal with this matter (political killings), and therefore the law must take its course,” he said.
Yesterday the party also expressed disappointment with the performance of local government over the years, saying it was riddled with lack of economic growth and social inclusion, and was not fiscally sustainable.
Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Zweli Mkhize lamented the state of municipalities, saying 87 had to be declared dysfunctional out of the country’s 283, due to lack of capacity, bad governance and an inability to generate revenue.
“We have made a number of interventions announced in the past few months, and we are pleased to see that there was change at that level.
“Of the 87 municipalities that we have actually identified, by the end of the year we were able to remove 25 out of the list of dysfunctionality, indicating that the interventions have made an impact,” Mkhize said.