The protestors, marching under the banners of the South African National Communist Party (SACP), South African National Civics Organisation, Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the African National Congress (ANC), accused ANC regional leaders and those deployed to leadership positions of “micromanaging”the municipality the result of which has impacted service delivery, and contributed to irregular, unlawful expenditure all of which contributed to the Auditor-General (AG) issuing an audit disclaimer.
The marchers handed over a memorandum of demands to Mayor Themba Njilo demanding amongst others that:
1. Njilo and his executive be recalled;
2. Law Enforcement agencies investigate
and criminally charge those implicated
in corruption including R150 million in
3. Local government MEC Nomsa Dube
place the city under administration;
4. 1000 workers who were unfairly
dismissed be re-instated;
5. An investigation be conducted into
R15 million that was supposedly set-aside
for development in Dambuza;
6. City by-laws be enforced and the
streets cleaned up.
The marchers directed much of their anger against former ANC provincial secretary Super Zuma, ANC Moses Mabhida regional secretary Mzi Zuma, and Msunduzi deputy mayor Thobani Zuma who they accuse of being part of the cabal involved in “micro-managing” the municipality. All three are supporters of former state president Jacob Zuma and ANC presidential contender Nkosozani Dlamini-Zuma.
“Our anger is directed at individuals who are micro-managing this municipality outside the confines of local government, forcing the bending of rules for their selfish ends,” said Cosatu’s Zimasile Giyama.
One of the marchers said communities were paying a heavy price for the collapse of governance and service delivery. “Service delivery is all but non-existent with the city being nearly, if not already bankrupt. Under this administration we have witnessed a total collapse of the administration and it is time for those responsible to be recalled and account for their actions,” said one of the marchers.
The leaders of the protest action also issued a warning to the local government MEC that she should discharge her duties without any outside influence.
“We are closely monitoring MEC Nomsa Dube-Ncube’s silence on calls for Msunduzi Municipality to be placed under administration. We hope she is not conflicted,” said Giyama.
Leaders of the march warned of tougher action if their demands were not responded to within seven days. “We await a response otherwise this rolling mass action will be four times the intensity that you are witnessing here today,” they told Mayor Njilo, warning that if need be they would call upon state president and ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa to take action.
“If you think we are joking, think again! We have no problem in sending the demands to Mahlambandlopfu (the presidential
residence),” said Giyama.
Maritzburg Sun tried repeatedly to get comment from ANC Moses Mabhida regional secretary Mzi Zuma but was unsuccessful.