Opposition parties lambast mayor

DA KZN leader Zwakele Mncwango addresses councillors who converged outside the Durban City Hall.

PRESSURE is mounting on eThekwini municipality's mayor, Zandile Gumede as opposition parties accuse her of bringing the city to the brink of collapse. Councillors from the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and Democratic Alliance (DA) converged outside the Durban City Hall to protest poor decision making on the part of the city leaders and wasteful expenditure, before making their way to a full council meeting on Tuesday.

Caucus leader of the IFP, Mdu Nkosi said the recent purchase of police dogs and Casspirs for crowd control and riot situations by the city were expenditures that the people did not need.

“Taxpayer's money has been misused. They bought dogs and Casspirs. People do not need that, they want service delivery. Our people do not have proper shelters. Today's picket must not be the end, we must continue fighting and showing that as opposition parties the people of eThekwini made a mistake by giving the ANC power and they are now power drunk,” Nkosi said.

DA KZN leader Zwakele Mncwango, who also addressed those who attended the event, took the opportunity to take a swipe at the entire ANC leadership accusing them of being corrupt and said secret ballot or no secret ballot they were going to remove Jacob Zuma.

“There is no way that this city can run a clean government when we keep losing senior officers on a daily basis. We cannot allow Zandile Gumede to continue purging officials just because they are from different factions. This municipality cannot be run by factions, we need a clean run governance.” said Mncwango.

Mncwango said the lack of accountability was the reason why the meeting had been organised. “When we ask the Mayor about these expenditures, she says she is still waiting for the report. The City Manager says he is not sure who authorized the purchase, the chair also says he doesn't know. No one seems to know who made these purchases. When you have a bus with a factory fault, you can change the driver, but the bus will remain faulty. It is clear that even if they replace Gumede, this ANC bus has a factory fault. We are here to say let's protect our City, let's remove the cancer of corruption in our city,” he said.

“Municipalities are the hub of the economy of the country. The corruption stigma surrounding municipalities affects investor confidence. Our people are poor, they need jobs and if we do not resolve this, it will collapse this municipality,” added Mncwango.

In response to the DA's steady stream of accusations which have been featured in the media in recent weeks, Gumede accused the DA of grandstanding in the media and ordered council Speaker, Lekgoa Mapena to investigate the conduct of Mncwango whom she says has brought the city into disrepute by his claims that it is on the brink of collapse. Gumede was speaking at a special meeting of Exco on Monday.

Rudy Nkgadima

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