Parties oust 2 officials

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has accused the IFP of ignoring local-government rules after two of its leaders in the Newcastle municipality were ousted.

Last week the IFP joined with the DA and the National Democratic Convention (Nadeco) to remove the ANC mayor and deputy mayor. IFP leader Mercy Dube was appointed mayor and the DA's Jacobus Vorster is her deputy.

The municipality in northern KwaZulu-Natal made headlines recently when three of its officers were investigated for paying themselves more than R500000 in overtime earnings.

Last year the council's accountant was found guilty and jailed for 10 years for defrauding the municipality of R1,5million.

Mbuso Kubheka, ANC provincial deputy secretary, said ousting mayor Phumzile Mbatha-Cele and her deputy Mathew Masina were "unprocedural".

"The ANC does not have qualms with legitimate democratic practices, but it will not stand idle when the legislative framework is trampled on.

"Especially by parties who cannot control their insatiable appetite for power, even when it means disregarding provisions laid down by the law," he said.

Kubheka said the rules stipulate that a party seeking to replace an executive committee member has to give seven days notice. This was not done.

This is the third municipality where the ANC has lost to the IFP. Last year it lost Amajuba district and Umhlathuze municipalities.

IFP deputy chairman Blessed Gwala said the move was a victory for the people.

"We did it because there was an outcry about the lack of service delivery while ANC councillors were in charge," he said.

He said they would remove all corrupt elements.

"Parties in the Newcastle municipality especially must have a good working relationship with the community and business to ensure services are delivered."