Sanco KZN official given the boot

20 August 2018 - 15:15 By Bongani Mthethwa
(From left to right) Sanco's KZN spokesman Sanele Mbambo, provincial secretary Richard Mkhungo and David Zulu from the civic moment's veterans desk during a media briefing in Durban on August 20, 2018.
(From left to right) Sanco's KZN spokesman Sanele Mbambo, provincial secretary Richard Mkhungo and David Zulu from the civic moment's veterans desk during a media briefing in Durban on August 20, 2018.

The ANC’s civic sector alliance partner‚ the South African National Civic Organisation‚ is at war with itself.

The first victim of Sanco’s infighting was its treasurer‚ Durban businessman and former president Jacob Zuma’s benefactor‚ Roy Moodley‚ who was given the boot by the organisation’s general secretary‚ Skhumbuzo Mpanza‚ in April after he had attended the national office bearers’ meeting.

But Moodley has refused to step down and has indicated through his lawyers that he reserves his rights to challenge the organisation and that if he resigns‚ he will only do so after the next Sanco national executive committee (NEC) meeting.

Now KwaZulu-Natal provincial secretary Richard Mkhungo has also been served with a letter of suspension by Mpanza but‚ like Moodley‚ Mkhungo has vowed to challenge his suspension.

Mkhungo told a media briefing in Durban on Monday that he would not vacate his office as the only structure that could suspend him was the organisation’s provincial executive committee (PEC).

“I will end up challenging the issue in court if continues like this. But there is no way we will allow a situation where I will vacate the office. I will not vacate the office. I know my constitutional rights‚” said Mkhungo.

The media briefing followed Sanco’s special PEC held on Thursday last week which also reflected on the current state of the civic movement‚ both at provincial and national levels‚ including the current infighting.

In a statement read out by Sanco’s provincial spokesman‚ Sanele Mbambo‚ the organisation said it appeared that some selected national officials had committed themselves to “a serious rampage campaign” aimed at the “total destruction” of the civic movement.

Mbambo said they were shocked by the “questionable letter that reads as a suspension of Mpanza” which they treated as “gossip... and an attempt to tear our organisation apart”.

“Today we have not met with any member of the NEC that informs the provincial leadership about the suspension of any member of our collective. To us this is an ill-discipline of an individual who has no regard of our poor communities at heart‚” read the statement.

The provincial Sanco leadership also questioned “failed attempts to force Moodley to resign”.

“We have noticed that both our national treasurer and provincial secretary have been striving to root out the disgusting rot of corruption run by the selected national office bearers. Our conclusion is that the attempt to force Moodley to resign and the suspension of Mkhungo are done as an attempt coordinated and run by few selected office bearers.”

The provincial leadership recently wrote to the national leadership requesting a special NEC to discuss an urgent need for a national conference to call for “an inquiry against massive corruption by the national office bearers”.

They also claimed that Moodley was being booted out because he was about to table the organisation's financial reports before the NEC.

Sanco in KZN has accused Mpanza of squandering funds which Moodley was about to reveal during his presentation of the financial report.

Mkhungo has alleged that Mpanza failed to provide Moodley with information on how skills development funding from the government amounting to about R2-million had been used as well as about R3-million in the organisation’s administrative account.

He also revealed that Sanco could be sued by the Durban International Convention Centre for its aborted national conference which was supposed to have taken place between March 23 and 25.

“We had secured the ICC and we had secured transport for delegates from all provinces. We had secured accommodation for delegates in hotels. But on the 21st of March we received correspondence from the general secretary saying funders felt that here it’s too expensive and we have to hold our conference in Carnival City in Gauteng‚” he said.

He said the organisation owes the ICC about R2.2-million for the aborted conference and that the booking agent has threatened to go to court if they are not paid the money.

Sanco’s provincial leadership has attributed infighting in the organisation to the reluctance by Mpanza and Sanco president Richard Mdakane to relinquish their positions.

Mpanza didn't immediately respond to TimesLIVE‚ however in a response to Mail and Guardian‚ he denied any financial impropriety and said that Mkhungo could have aired his grievances through an "internal" process instead of the media.