No mayoral chains just yet for Mxolisi Kaunda over 'outstanding' issue

28 August 2019 - 17:43 By Yasantha Naidoo
Current KZN transport MEC Mxolisi Kaunda will have to put his plans to don the eThekwini mayoral chains on hold as the ANC works on some issues.
Current KZN transport MEC Mxolisi Kaunda will have to put his plans to don the eThekwini mayoral chains on hold as the ANC works on some issues.
Image: GovernmentZA/Flickr

The swearing in of the eThekwini municipality's new mayor and deputy mayor has been temporarily put on hold to allow the ANC to iron out an issue related to its nominated candidates.

Last week the party named current transport MEC Mxolisi Kaunda as its mayoral candidate to replace former mayor Zandile Gumede. Former economic development MEC Belinda Scott will serve as deputy mayor and former social development MEC Weziwe Thusi as speaker.

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ANC provincial spokesperson Ricardo Mthembu confirmed that the council meeting was temporarily postponed to address an “outstanding issue” related to one of their members.

Mthembu said the ANC was working to resolve this.

He is reported to have said that Gumede will be returning as a councillor.

Mthembu denied that infighting was responsible for the delay, or that it was negatively affecting service delivery or the municipality.

In a statement on Wednesday, the municipality's acting spokesperson Mandla Nsele said, “The municipal decision to postpone the meeting was made as there were not enough agenda items to convene the council meeting. This is as a result of the postponement of the executive committee meeting on August 20 after opposition parties left the meeting.

“This resulted in the executive committee being unable to sit and the meeting being postponed. Council procedure is such that reports from the various sub-committees are tabled at the executive committee and thereafter at the full council meeting before implementation.”

He said service delivery has not been “impeded or affected” by the postponement of the meeting.

Meanwhile, a group who call themselves Concerned Citizens of eThekwini municipality has started a petition calling for the reinstatement of former deputy mayor Fawzia Peer on to the executive committee.

Peer, who was acting mayor when Gumede was asked to take special leave, was ordered together with fellow party members by the ANC in KZN to tender their resignations as exco members.

According to the online petition, the group represents residents and ratepayers.

Its profile says: “We understand that the decisions made and the actions taken by the provincial executive committee of the ANC was to rid the city of corruption at the executive political level, and this move has been widely applauded. It is a fact that corruption has impacted very negatively on governance of the country of late, and has the effect of negating all the positive gains made post 1994.

“Cllr Peer has not been charged or implicated in the corruption scandal in eThekwini city council and consequently her removal from the executive leadership of the municipality is illogical, unjustified and unfair. She has also been tainted with the same brush as the other senior politicians who were removed from office after being formally charged and appearing in court for corruption."

The group said Peer was dedicated and hard working and asked the ANC to reconsider its decision to “demote” Peer to an ordinary council member.

Mthembu said he had not seen a copy of the petition.