Outrage over eThekwini's all ANC municipal calendar

03 January 2018 - 11:50 By Bongani Mthethwa
Zandile Gumede, chair of the eThekwini ANC.
Zandile Gumede, chair of the eThekwini ANC.
Image: Supplied.

Opposition parties in the eThekwini municipality are spitting mad over their exclusion from the city’s official 2018 calendar‚ which only features the faces of ANC councillors from the executive committee.

The calendar‚ reportedly already up in some municipal offices‚ has a large picture of eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede‚ her deputy Fawzia Peer and six head-and-shoulder pictures of ANC councillors.

But none of the three DA councillors - Zwakele Maxwell Mncwango‚ Sharon Hoosen and Heinz de Boer – nor IFP councillor Mduduzi Samuel Nkosi‚ who are all in the executive committee‚ made it onto the calendar. The eThekwini municipality is a multi-party council with three parties represented in the exco and more than five at full council level.

Opposition parties are demanding an explanation for their exclusion and have voiced their objection to the calendar.

DA caucus leader Zwakele Mncwango has written to city manager Sipho Nzuza‚ saying the calendar was “defective in that it only contains the portrait photographs of the ANC members” of the exco.

“In the past‚ the official calendars have shown the photos of all the members of the executive committee‚ irrespective of which party they represent in council. There cannot possibly be any justifiable reason for the 2018 calendar not to show the photos of all exco members‚” he said.

He called for distribution of the calendars to be halted‚ a recall of all those already distributed and for new calendars to be printed as quickly as possible.

Mayor Gumede was the subject of ridicule in December 2016 when she gave 200 councillors a Christmas gift they would never forget - a framed photo of herself‚ beaming in mayoral regalia.

The DA called for a formal investigation to be conducted within 14 days to identify who was responsible for the new calendar. The party also wants to know within seven days how many were printed‚ how many distributed and what they cost.

IFP caucus leader Mdu Nkosi also wants an explanation from the mayor.

But mayoral spokesman Mthunzi Gumede said those in the calendar were "cluster chairpersons" who were also members of the exco. He said it was unfortunate that such “a wonderfully informative calendar has been reduced to a political football”.