The speaker of the embattled Mbhashe local municipality, Phakamisa Madingana, has launched a scathing attack on MEC for local government Mlibo Qoboshiyane, accusing him of “failing to show leadership qualities in resolving the municipality’s political crisis”.
In a media briefing held at the municipal offices in Dutywa on Thursday, Madingane said: “The honourable MEC has failed us. He has chosen to treat the Mbhashe political crisis as an ANC official and not in his capacity as MEC. We had done everything lawful by ousting the former mayor (Mfecane), because she is one of those who plunged our municipality into crisis. We are now busy trying to correct Mfecane’s mess.”
Qoboshiyane recently told the media he was considering invoking section 139 1c in Mbhashe and other municipalities, which had been thrown into crisis. The municipalities included Mnquma, Mbizana, Buffalo City and Nelson Mandela Bay.
Section 139 1c is invoked when a municipality is plunged into maladministration and corruption.
Madingana said: “The MEC is just dreaming. He can never put section 139 1c in Mbhashe. We are trying to sort the mess created by Mfecane here and we are improving.”
In late September, some ANC councillors, who partnered with the opposition, fired the then mayor Nonceba Olga Mfecane, from the council, accusing her of corruption and incompetence.
The council then appointed an ANC member, Mthetheleli Mbhele, as the new mayor.
The ANC in the province has since told the Mbhashe council to reverse its decision of firing Mfecane, claiming it was illegal.
In October The New Age reported that both Mfecane and Mbhele were competing for office space in the mayor’s office.
But on Thursday, Mbhele told The New Age that Mfecane was only a councillor in the municipality. “She attends meetings just like any councillor. She is no longer a mayor,” Mbhele said.
The ANC in the province also issued letters of disciplinary actions against seven of its Mbhashe councillors who ousted Mfecane. ANC provincial secretary Oscar Mabuyane said they had instructed the suspended councillors not to represent the party in any occasion.
“This should be understood that they are not expected to participate in any municipal processes as ANC representatives and they are expected to observe all conditions of suspension,” Mabuyane said.
“This commotion is classified as a serious offence as the name of the ANC has been dragged (through the mud) and its reputation tarnished by an uncontrollable craving for power.”