eThekwini Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda flanked by Deputy Mayor Belinda Scott and Speaker Weziwe Thusi. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency (ANA)
Durban - Pressure is mounting on the speaker of eThekwini Metro, Weziwe Thusi, to institute the council’s disciplinary proceedings against the councillors implicated in fraud connected to a R208 million solid waste tender.

The call was made by opposition parties in the council and lobby group Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) after Hawks this week arrested four councillors, bringing the number to 20.

ANC councillors Nomthandazo Shabalala, Nomusa Mthembu, Sthenjwa Nyawose and Thembelihle de Lange appeared in the Durban Commercial Crime Court and were released on R5000 bail each.

Former mayor Zandile Gumede was arrested in May together with 16 councillors and municipal employees. They were released on R50 000 bail each.

“The council must do the right thing and remove the accused councillors,” Outa’s regional manager Tim Tyrrell said.

The DA city’s caucus leader Nicole Graham told Independent Media that it was Thusi’s responsibility to investigate and lay internal charges against the implicated councillors.

“The speaker has done nothing while the ethics committee is dealing with minor offences,” she said.

IFP councillor Mdu Nkosi said the ANC was covering up for its councillors by claiming they were innocent until proven guilty.

“It seems that half of the councillors would end up facing these charges and the question to the speaker is: is she going to wait for the court to come up with a guilty verdict?” Nkosi asked.

No comment was obtained from Thusi by time of publication and the person who answered her cellphone said she was in a meeting. 

Politics Bureau