uMngeni municipal manager backs down after court order, calls inaugural council meeting
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Cape Town – The acting municipal manager in uMngeni, Sandile Buthelezi has backed down and agreed to preside over the council meeting after initially not attending the session.
This follows a court order issued this week by the Pietermaritzburg High Court forcing him to sit in the meeting.
The first meeting was aborted after suspended municipal manager Thembeka Cibane showed up to preside over the ceremony, leading to the DA and EFF staging a walkout.
However, on Friday Buthelezi issued an invitation to newly elected councillors to attend the meeting on Monday.
“With the official results of the 2021 local government elections having been announced, I, in accordance with section 29, sub-section 2 of the Local Government: Municipal Structures Act (act no: 117 of 1998), as amended, hereby cordially invite you to the inauguration ceremony to the 2021 to 2026 council of uMngeni,” wrote Buthelezi.
The meeting will sit at the Howick community hall on Monday.
The DA has been saying the meeting should have sat to elect Chris Pappas as mayor.
It had accused the ANC of disrupting the meeting, but the ANC in the region denied the claims by the DA.
The ANC has said it has accepted defeat in uMngeni and the DA can go ahead and do its business.
ANC coordinator in the region Mandla Zondi has said they were prepared to sit in opposition benches in the council.
uMngeni had been governed by the ANC for many years, but in the November elections the DA got more votes.
This is the first municipality in KwaZulu-Natal that is governed by the party.