uMhlathuze Municipality officials accused of political sabotage

uMhlathuze City Mayor Mduduzi Mhlongo

THE ANC’s leadership race ahead of the party’s national conference in December also had a fallout on local shores this week with claims of deliberate political sabotage directed at city officials.

The gloves came off this week when the South African National Civic Organisation’s (SANCO) regional leaders accused uMhlathuze Municipality’s top officials of playing dirty after their radio interview with a local station was cancelled because of an unexpected electricity cut.

In a lengthy letter to Municipal Manager Nhlanhla Sibeko, SANCO’s regional secretary Thembinkosi Mthembu accused city Mayor Mdu Mhlongo and Speaker Mfundo Mthenjane of ‘abusing state power to fight their political battles’.

‘We were scheduled for a live interview at a radio station in Empangeni to talk about SANCO’s role in the community and about current political issues in our country,’ said Mthembu.

‘We were shocked to learn the station was forced to postpone the interview because of an electricity cut by the city, despite the station being up-to-date with its electricity bill payments. The station was off air for more than nine hours because of this political sabotage.’

Speaking to the Zululand Observer on Wednesday, Mthembu also accused the city’s top officials of sabotaging other events scheduled for Port Durnford, Ongoye and at eSikhaleni’s ward 18.

He said the interruptions can be blamed on political factions within the ANC.

‘Something always happens to events organised by members who are in the Cyril Ramaphosa camp. We have reliable sources who confirmed supporters of the CR17 camp are being sabotaged,’ explained Mthembu.

ALSO READ: City of uMhlathuze defends luxury car purchase

Administrative mistake

The uMhlathuze Municipality refuted the accusations, saying it was purely an administrative error which caused the radio station’s interruption and which has already been rectified.

Communications Manager Mdu Ncalane said the electricity cut was meant for another government department.

‘We soon realised the radio station’s account is linked with the department which is in arrears with its payments. We investigated the matter and realised the radio station is on a prepaid account and that the cut was to the wrong business,’ said Ncalane.

‘The mayor does not get involved in municipal administration and he was actually out of town when the incident happened.’

Ncalane said no sabotage was intended and the municipality would not interfere with the radio station’s programming.

‘This talk of sabotage is unwarranted. Power was restored at the station once we realised the mistake and there was no political motivation behind it at all.’


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