Nelson Mandela Bay Executive Mayor Zanoxolo Wayile expressed his shock and heartfelt sorrow at today’s press conference at the Port Elizabeth City Hall.
“Indeed a press conference of this nature, especially when fellow Councillors of the Nelson Mandela Bay are involved, is certainly the saddest and most difficult moment for us at the Municipality, and to share with you the sad and catastrophic news of the fatal accident which took the young lives of three of our dear and fellow Councilors, namely, Councillors Mxolisi Gumenge, Phumeza Lose and Noncedo Ngqondi.
The accident also left 11 of our fellow Councillors with injuries of varied severity, namely, Councillors Bungane, Cobo, Gqabi, Jacobs, Ncamani, Stemele, Tofile, Dyantyi, Mlomo, Lindoor and Ndidi. We are monitoring their respective conditions very closely and will keep you updated as to their progress and recuperation.
The Councillors were on their way back from the first contact session this year as part of their studies at the Nelson Mandela Law School at the Fort Hare University’s East London campus. They were studying towards certificates in Local Government Law and Public Administration.
“At this juncture, allow me to express my deep and heartfelt empathy and condolences to the affected families of the deceased and injured Councillors during this sad period. Our thoughts and prayers are with them during these difficult moments,” Mayor Wayile said.
Councillor Noncedo Ngqondi, the Ward 15 Councillor, also had the important responsibility of being the Chairperson of the Municipal Public Accounts Committee and was a representative of the African National Congress on the Budget and Financial Planning Standing Committee.
Councillor Mxolisi Gumenge was the Ward Councillor in Ward 26 and was a member of Standing Committee for Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture.
Councillor Phumeza Lose, the Ward Councillor for Ward 55, was a member of the Standing Committee for Electricity and Energy.
A Special Council Meeting will be held on Tuesday 17 January at 10:00 am in the Woolboard Exchange council chambers to specifically deal with the consequences of the accident.
“Since the deceased were all Ward Councillors their death left a vacuum and the council meeting will discuss what we need to do to ensure that services to the affected wards continue without any delays,” Mayor Wayile added.
Executive Mayor Wayile, councillors, church leaders, stakeholders and family members will visit the accident scene tomorrow (Tuesday 17 January) at 1:00pm. A ceremony will be performed.
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