The saga around Newcastle mayor, Dr Ntuthuko Mahlaba continues. This follows the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal saying it will not bow down to those who want the ANC to reverse its decision to suspend him and eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede.
The pressure is allegedly stemming from Gumede’s supporters, who are demanding the ANC Provincial Working Committee (PWC) reviews the party’s resolution, which forces party leaders who are facing criminal charges to step aside.
During a special meeting held by the Provincial Executive Committee (PEC), last weekend in Empangeni, a decision was made to force both Mahlaba and Gumede to take a 30-day leave of absence.
Another special meeting was held last week, where ANC provincial spokesperson Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu confirmed the PEC had a backlash from some branches. All who believe the decision should be scrapped.
She says the nature of the meeting was to inform branches about the PEC’s decision. While some welcomed the decision, others strongly opposed it.
Initially, Mahlaba had refused a PEC instruction to step aside while dealing with his murder charges. Mahlaba’s charges are in connection with the killing of local ANC Youth League leader Wandile Ngobeni in 2016. However, he has now agreed to step aside.
Simelane-Zulu says there is a challenge which is currently being faced in Newcastle. This being the town does not have a speaker or deputy mayor to step into his place. Both Newcastle’s deputy mayor and speaker have been moved to National Assembly,
She assures the province is fast-tracking the issue of deployment.
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