Ulundi - The IFP-run Zululand district municipality in northern KwaZulu-Natal has ordered staff to stay at home on Wednesday, putting a mooted council sitting in jeopardy.
In an internal memo to staff, the municipality said its head offices in the town of Ulundi would on Wednesday undergo a fumigation process.
The municipality said only heads of departments should report for duty at the offices; the rest should work from home.
BREAKING NEWS: The staff of the IFP run Zululand district municipality has been asked to work from home on Wednesday as their head office in Ulundi will be undergoing a fumigation process. This is the same day the municipality intended to convene a special council sitting. @IOL pic.twitter.com/Vl0FySN4Iw— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) March 28, 2023
“This memo serves to notifying (sic) all staff members working at ZDM (Zululand District Municipality) head office (Ulundi) that fumigation and pest control will be done at the building.
“Therefore, an arrangement has been made for staff member (sic) to work from home on Wednesday, March 29, with the exception of all Departmental Heads.
“Staff members are requested to return to normal working conditions on Thursday, March 30.
“Your co-operation in this regard will be highly appreciated,” reads the memo signed by the municipal manager, Ntokozo Hlongwa.
Hlongwa did not respond when IOL asked him what exactly was picked up that prompted the municipality to have the sudden fumigation.
The sudden fumigation coincides with a council sitting where it is expected that the ANC, EFF and NFP will continue their fight to remove a councillor they believe is in office illegally.
Councillor Bethuel Nxumalo is from the NFP, a party that is in coalition with the ANC and the EFF.
However, Nxumalo does not vote according to his party line, instead, he votes with the IFP, thus giving it the power to hold on to the district with 19 against 18 votes.
On Monday the matter was taken to the Pietermaritzburg High Court by the ANC and the NFP with the support of the EFF.
The matter was postponed to allow other parties to file their responding papers and the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for co-operative governance and traditional affairs, Bongi Sithole-Moloi, has joined the case. She has indicated that she is not opposing it.
She has filed an affidavit that supports the applicants who are claiming that Nxumalo is in office illegally and is being protected by the IFP since his presence benefits the party.
Meanwhile, sparks are also expected to fly at the special council sitting of the Alfred Duma (Ladysmith) local municipality on Wednesday where the ANC, EFF and ABC (Abantu Batho Congress) are expected to mount a fight to remove the IFP-led coalition government.