Under fire mayor lashes residents

LEKWA municipality mayor Juliet Radebe-Khumalo has lashed out at Sakhile township residents who want her fired, saying she is not responsible for providing them with houses.

Radebe-Khumalo has been under fire from thousands of Standerton residents for almost a month. The protesters are demanding that she be fired after a Municipal Finance Unit report that R30million of Standerton's municipal funds cannot be accounted for.

Protesting residents say Radebe-Khumalo is building a mansion and driving an expensive car, while they do not even have RDP houses.

But at President Jacob Zuma's meeting with the country's mayors in Khayelitsha yesterday, Radebe-Khumalo lashed out at her critics, telling Sowetan "it's not our responsibility to build houses, as the president [Zuma] was saying".

"It's unfair to say I am building a mansion. The question is if you are a mayor, where must you stay? Must I stay in a shack?" she asked.

"In my salary I get a travelling allowance. Must I corrupt that money and not buy a car?" asked Radebe-Khumalo.

"It is correct what the president has said that we must educate our communities. The president has really done his research," she said.

When Sowetan asked if she was confident that Zuma would not give in to calls to remove her, she would only say "that is the president's position".