Durban – The ANC in the Mzala Nxumalo (Zululand) region in KZN claims that it has legitimate powers to give “political direction” to the state as the ruling party.
The ANC’s regional secretary, Zakhele Buthelezi, said this in response to allegations over the weekend that the party hosted a meeting in Vryheid and told officials from the provincial department of cooperative governance and traditional affairs (CoGTA) to place the Zululand district municipality under administration.
The historic district anchored in Ulundi in northern KZN is a hotly contested one as the ANC has never run it except being a coalition partner of the National Freedom Party (NFP) between 2011 and 2016.
The ANC now wants to snatch it from its old political foe, the IFP.
A whistleblower alleged that the ANC said COGTA should hamper the IFP by placing the district municipality under administration until next year’s local government elections to increase ANC’s chances at the polls.
Thulasizwe Buthelezi, the IFP’s mayor in the district said he was one of those who was alerted of the plot that was discussed at the meeting and said he was not surprised the ANC was engaging in dirty tricks to oust the IFP.
“We are not surprised that the ANC Zululand region is using COGTA to usurp the will of the people of Zululand who elected the IFP into power.
“Zululand district municipality is compliant in terms of governance and service delivery and there is no basis for COGTA to send an administrator,” he said.
Zakhele Buthelezi, the ANC’s regional secretary, denied that they invited government departments and said the officials came to their two-day “governance summit” in their capacity as ANC members.
Further, he said the ANC as a political party has every right to concern itself with the state of governance in the district.
“The ANC cannot, therefore, micromanage the state but indeed it does give it political direction as allowed in law. It is therefore ridiculous to insinuate that a region of the ANC, as it is alleged in the affidavit you referred to, dictated to CoGTA.
“It is however not a secret that the ANC caucus in Zululand has been vocal in calling for the Zululand district municipality to be put under section 139 intervention due to maladministration, lack of service delivery and rampant corruption as various reports as you also acknowledge, demonstrate.
“It is their duty as councillors to ensure that the ZDM as an institution is held accountable and any corrective measures necessary are taken. As a party we fully support the calls by our caucus,” he said in defence of his party.
Senzo Mzila, the spokesperson for the MEC for CoGTA in the province, Sipho Hlomuka claimed that they were not aware of the matter and promised to investigate.
“The MEC is not aware of these claims and will ask the department to investigate the veracity of the claims that are being made and to provide him with a report on this matter.