Former Newcastle Mayor, Dr Mahlaba to contend for provincial leadership

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Following a recent announcement, the former Newcastle Mayor, Dr Ntuthuko Mahlaba will be contending for the African National Congress’s (ANC) KwaZulu-Natal Regional Chairperson position.

If he stands, Dr Mahlaba will be going against major contenders such as the current chairperson and KZN Premier, Sihle Zikalala, and/or KZN MEC for Finance Nomusa Dube-Ncube, KZN MEC Peggy Nkonyeni and the businessman and owner of AmaZulu Football Club, Sandile Zungu.

With the ANC KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Conference earmarked to take place in July 2022, the question now stands, will the former mayor clinch the coveted chair?

Having entrenched himself within the political party, Dr Mahlaba was one of several KZN regional leaders who visited the controversial former South African President, Jacob Zuma, at his home in Nklanda on Tuesday, 7 June 2022.

According to reports, the purpose of the visit was for the regional leaders to seek guidance from Zuma, as the leaders want the ANC in KZN, to fix its problems.

But when looking back on the past three years of the former Newcastle Mayor’s history, Dr Mahlaba’s time as mayor was shrouded in legal battles. 

On 22 March 2019, Dr Mahlaba was arrested after he was allegedly linked to the attempted murder of ANCYL leader, Mafika Ndamane. He was also apparently linked to the murder of the former eMalahleni ANCYL youth league leader Wandile Ngoeini.

To read the full article, click here.

Following the former mayor’s arrest, during a special meeting held in June 2019 by the ANC Provincial Executive Committee (PEC), in Empangeni, a decision was made to force Mahlaba to take a 30-day leave of absence from his duties to deal with an ensuing legal battle that followed his charges.

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The charges of murder and attempted murder against Dr Mahlaba were eventually dropped. At the time, the National Prosecuting Authority highlighted that too few witnesses were willing to testify for the state, resulting in the case being dismissed.

However, following this, Dr Mahlaba was yet again summoned to court in July 2021. This, according to KZN Provincial SAPS Spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker, stemmed from an incident that took place on 3 September 2020, where employees from a fibre subcontractor in Newcastle were assaulted by Njabulo Mabaso, Sgananda Shezi and the then Newcastle Mayor, Dr Mahlaba.

The trio were charged with assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm, malicious damage to property and theft.

To read the full article, click here.

The court case eventually came to an end on 22 November 2021, when the former mayor was handed a two-year sentence for inciting others to commit the crime. However, he was given the option of paying a R20 000 fine.

To read the article, click here.

With the former Newcastle mayor viewing the legal cases and accusations as nothing more than a smear campaign, the ANC’s Mbuso Kubheka Region seemed to agree.

The regional spokesperson, Reuben Molelekoa explained the decision to nominate Dr Mahlaba for the coveted spot came from the said ANC Mbuso Region.

“We believe that he has grown as a person and a leader, especially as he has been the chairperson for our region for the past three years. We would now like to see him grow further in the province and lead in the way that we know he is capable of,” said Molelekoa.

Moreover, with the upcoming provincial conference set to take place in a matter of weeks, Molelekoa felt it would prove beneficial for Newcastle to have Dr Mahlaba in the chair if he managed to secure the position. Especially since the former mayor had an in-depth knowledge of the town.

“We have many capable leaders in our regions, and we are now busy with the necessary meetings and preparations, as to ensure that when we leave the conference, we have good leaders and plans in action,” the regional spokesperson added.

Concluding, Molelekoa felt the plans that needed to be formulated, had to be focused on improving Newcastle and KZN’s infrastructure as a whole while ensuring the ANC renewed the people’s confidence in them.

With this said, what are your thoughts on the above-mentioned? 

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