NEW RULE: Mayor Mphuthumi Mpabanga. 16/05/2010. © Unknown.
NEW RULE: Mayor Mphuthumi Mpabanga. 16/05/2010. © Unknown.

NEWLY elected Umzimkhulu municipality mayor Mphuthumi Mpabanga has vowed to crack the whip on lazy and corrupt officials.

He was speaking to Sowetan after being sworn in on Friday.

He took over from Bheki Dzanibe, who resigned after several protests by the SACP calling on him to step down.

The SACP accused Dzanibe of embezzling R20000 donated by a local supermarket to bury a former employee, Bhekokwakhe Maduna, who was also an ANC activist.

Maduna died after allegedly being electrocuted by his bosses when he demanded a salary increment.

"My first enemy is corruption," Mpabanga said.

He said he would not face any unexpected challenges as mayor since as speaker he had been running the council for years.

Harry Gwala region ANC secretary Amon Zondi welcomed Dzanibe's resignation, but said: "The investigation against him (Dzanibe) will not be interrupted or dropped."

He said the disciplinary hearing against Dzanibe would not stop because he was still a councillor.

Zondi could not confirm whether Dzanibe was forced to resign.

"He was not pushed to resign, but we would not like to have a mayor facing corruption charges," Zondi said.

Jabu Mzizi has been appointed speaker and Sindiso Funani is chief whip.