Cogta MEC slams KZN town for having two mayors, orders new election

26 May 2020 - 16:37 By ZIMASA MATIWANE
KZN Cogta MEC Sipho Hlomuka has slammed the Nquthu municipality council for defying lockdown regulations to sit and elect a new mayor.
KZN Cogta MEC Sipho Hlomuka has slammed the Nquthu municipality council for defying lockdown regulations to sit and elect a new mayor.
Image: Cogta

A KwaZulu-Natal town with two mayors has received a tongue lashing from co-operative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) MEC Sipho Hlomuka.

This follows a council sitting that took place on March 26 to elect a mayor - in violation of a national government directive, which states: "No council meetings, outside the district command centre meetings, may be undertaken during the initial 21-day lockdown period, or any other extended period that maybe declared."

The Nquthu municipality council sat and elected a mayor, the IFP's Zama Shabalala. 

In February, the IFP removed conspiracy to commit murder-accused mayor Siyabonga Mabilabila Kunene. He was replaced by deputy mayor Nothile Zungu in an acting capacity.

However, following the illegal council sitting, the ANC in council wrote to Hlomuka requesting his intervention, as there was confusion around whether the mayoral chain belonged to Shabalala or Zungu - both IFP councillors.

Hlomuka said mayors and other office bearers can be elected only at properly constituted municipal council meetings.

"It is very unfortunate that a council defied the regulations, as set out by the national minister. As a department, we will not allow a situation where the rule of law is thrown out the door by a few," he said.

Hlomuka added that the department would not hesitate to hold all councillors who participated in the illegal sitting personally responsible, should Cogta find that the municipality has accrued unnecessary expenditure as a result of the decisions that were taken at this meeting.

"We have thus directed the speaker to convene a council meeting, in line with the new directions of the minister, dated May 6, to elect the mayor without delay."


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