Enoch Mgijima Municipality finally has a permanent Mayor

Enoch Mgijima Municipality finally has a permanent Mayor

 

By Zolile Menzelwa
Senior Reporter

One of Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality’s most chaotic meetings, where an EFF councillor was accused of being drunk, finally gained its dignity after the election of the local authority’s fourth executive mayor since the local government elections in 2016.

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Former finance political head Luleka Gubhula was elected unopposed in a meeting that struggled to reconvene after it was adjourned due to a foul smelling pesticide that was sprayed in the Komani Town Hall. About an hour after the meeting was adjourned council speaker Bongiwe van Heerden sent text messages to councillors reconvening the meeting. DA’s Malibongwe Xhelisilo said van Heerden signed the notice convening the meeting on July 3 while CFO and acting municipal manager Gcobani Mashiyi signed on July 4. Xhelisilo said the different dates were to mislead council into thinking that the meeting was called in the minimum notice period of 48 hours.

He called for the meeting to be adjourned and reconvened within the time allowed by rules of council. “And when you reconvene the meeting please also submit your letter of resignation as we have lost confidence in you,” he said. Van Heerden said she signed the notice on July 3 before going to a meeting with cooperative governance and traditional affairs MEC Xolile Nqatha. United Front’s sole councillor Aaron Mhlontlo said council rules 16 and 17 stated the fact that van Heerden adjourned the meeting, the council sitting should then be called by a notice which should meet the 48 hour threshold. “Rules of council don’t allow the continuation of this meeting. This is an illegal meeting,” Mhlontlo said.

ANC ward councillor Phaphama Madubedube said rules 16 and 17 state that a notice convening a meeting after an adjournment must specify the date, venue and hour for the next meeting. He said the rules did not specify time between the two meetings. “Everyone here can see that councillor (Luthando) Amos is drunk. We also have homecoming ceremonies in our homes but we respect the people we lead,” he said. Amos is the chief whip of the EFF. Van Heereden said she would refer Amos’ behaviour to the rules committee after a number of councillors kept saying Amos was drunk as he kept standing on points of order.

Another bone of contention was that council had not adopted the service delivery budget implementation plan (SDBIP) which is supposed to be passed by July 7. Former human resource political head and now ordinary councillor Noluthando Nqabisa said council should not take light the matter raised by Mhlontlo simply because he was an opposition party councillor. “The matter of adopting the SDBIP is serious and if we ignore it because it was raised by a councillor from an opposition party can actually lead to this council being dissolved. It will also be an audit query that can lead to a finding by the auditor general,” Nqabisa said.

As if that was not enough, after the resignation letter of former acting mayor Sibusiso Mvana was read and accepted it was discovered there was an error in the adopted agenda. The agenda moved from the resignation to the appointment of the mayoral committee. The was no item on the election of the new mayor. However it was agreed by all political parties that a recommendation of electing a new mayor must be added to allow the election so that the SDBIP, which was described as the heart and soul of service delivery, can be signed by July 7- Sunday.

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