EASTERN Cape local government and traditional affairs MEC Sicelo Gqobana yesterday broke his silence over the political squabbles gripping the Ingquza local municipality that incorporates Lusikisiki and Flagstaff.
He yesterday lashed out at councillors embroiled in political infighting saying: "This does not deserve to be called a municipality."
The provincial government has stepped in in terms of the law to restore order in the municipality.
Gqobana's efforts to conduct a council meeting at the municipality comes after 11 months in which the council did not sit.
Previous attempts to hold meetings had ended in wild insults, flying chairs and boycotts.
Gqobana said the late issuing of notices to councillors might have been responsible for Tuesday's meeting not taking place.
He said councillors were supposed to get notices of the meeting seven working days before the meeting.
"In terms of the constitution and law the municipality is no longer qualified to be called a municipality" Gqobana said.
He confirmed that the division among councillors was at the core of the conflict.
"We have decided to take a persuasive approach to fulfill the aspirations of the majority of the community," Gqobana said.
He said despite the challenges he would be back at the municipality on April 28 to convene a council meeting.
"If the meeting fails to happen we will have no choice but to strip the institution of its powers."
Meanwhile, Sowetan has learnt that a VIP unit from Gqobana's office found a firearm hidden under a chair in the office of mayor William Ngozi.
Gqobana confirmed the incident and said he had instructed the municipality to write a report.