Durban — Political party Abantu Batho Congress (ABC) claim there is a lack of consequence management in the eThekwini Municipality following an alleged rift between the mayors lately.
The ABC claim eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda was not reprimanded for sending an out-of-context WhatsApp message to deputy mayor and ABC president Philani Mavundla recently. The ABC had expected the ANC to reprimand Kaunda for allegedly threatening to remove Mavundla as deputy mayor.
The ABC and smaller political parties in eThekwini formed a coalition to partner with the ANC in eThekwini after the 2021 Local Government Elections. Mavundla was given the deputy mayor’s position and elected as the head of the eThekwini Human Settlements and Infrastructure committee.
The ABC secretary-general Phumelele Phasha said they were preparing to meet with the ANC officials to look into the matter and for both Kaunda and Mavundla to discuss any issues.
Phasha said the ABC wanted to know how the ANC reacted to the WhatsApp message and if Kaunda was reprimanded.
“As an employee of the ANC, the mayor is like a child, so if the child has done something wrong, it is expected that his or her parents would somehow reprimand him. I think we are expecting a similar situation as well. The child must be warned not to commit such a mistake again,” said Phasha.
According to Phasha, Mavundla was contacted by “someone” from the ANC, stating they were aware of the message and wanted to set up a meeting, but nothing had materialised.
Last week, ANC provincial secretary Bheki Mtolo denied there was a rift between their parties but said that, like any marriage, there were challenges they were trying to resolve.
Mtolo denied rumours that the ANC was planning to remove Mavundla. Last week, the Daily News reported that the ANC and EFF were said to have agreed on how they were going to allocate positions after removing Mavundla. It was reported the deputy mayor’s position would go to the EFF while Municipal Public Account Committee chairperson would be allocated to NFP, an ANC coalition partner.
The Daily News understands a rift developed between the two after a clean-up campaign Mavundla organised with Kaizer Chiefs players before their game against Chippa United at Moses Mabhida Stadium last month. Mavundla used his picture in a promotional poster, not the mayor’s.
In the WhatsApp text message written in Zulu, seen by the Daily News, Kaunda allegedly told Mavundla he still carried on “with his nonsense” he had warned him about before, concerning using his photo instead of Kaunda’s. Kaunda, through his spokesperson, denied sending the message.
The message went on to allegedly remind Mavundla he would not have become “a mayor” having won only two seats, adding that being appointed as deputy was too much, and he should regard it as a bonus.