Ousted mayor takes council to court

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

Ousted Ukhahlamba municipality mayor Vikizitha Mlotshwa has taken the council to the Pietermaritzburg high court to protest his removal.

Mlotshwa was removed two weeks ago when councillors of his own party, the IFP, adopted a motion of no confidence in him. Mlotshwa insists he legally remains the mayor.

Speaking to Sowetan yesterday he said he was fighting his removal because it was improper.

"They did not follow proper procedures in ousting me and other councillors," Mlotshwa said. "The Municipal Structures Act says the motion should be moved before a sitting so that all concerned parties can be prepared."

He claimed speaker Bhekindlela Hlongwa had adjourned the meeting.

"After the adjournment certain councillors stayed behind and held their own meeting, where they decided to remove me," he said.

Mlotshwa said the IFP's national disciplinary committee would meet today to decide on the future of the six councillors.

"If they are found guilty and their membership is terminated they will no longer be councillors and we as a municipality will be able to work towards service delivery to our people," Mlotshwa said.

But one of the councillors, Louis Ngwenya, rejected Mlotshwa's claims, saying they had followed all procedures in ousting him.

Ngwenya claimed Mlotshwa should not have been the mayor in the first place.

"He forced his way in and because the party wanted to avoid conflict it decided to make him mayor," he said. "But we could no longer take his dictatorial style."

Ngwenya said there had been more than 10 corruption hearings against Mlotshwa, for which he apologised.

"Enough is enough," Ngwenya said. "We made a pledge to our president, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, that we would be anti-corruption.

"We have tangible proof to give to Buthelezi so that he can see how bad Mlotshwa is."