The new Mayors of the eThekwini Metro in Durban and the Msunduzi Municipality in Pietermaritzburg are expected to be announced within seven days. This is according to the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal following the drastic decision to overhaul the entire leadership in the two municipalities.

The party says it will redeploy the leaders.

For weeks, the ANC was in discussions about the action they would take against government officials, implicated in serious crimes.

The embattled eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede, who faces fraud and corruption charges, was one of them.

But in a surprise move on Monday night, the party opted for a complete overhaul. It now says its decision to remove the leaders was based on the assessment of certain municipalities.

The party cited poor performance and mismanagement as reasons for the move.

While Gumede refused to comment, the Msunduzi Mayor Themba Njilo says he accepts the ANC’s decision.

“I have not been fired. We met with the party and they have told us we are being redeployed. I have no problem with that. I will do what the party instructs of me.”

Meanwhile, the ANC’s alliance partner, the SACP in KwaZulu-Natal says the sweeping changes in the municipalities are long overdue.

It says the ANC must avoid past mistakes of deploying wrong personnel to key positions.

KZN SACP Secretary Themba Mthembu says, “It’s a long-overdue decision in the light of the outcry, not only from many people in the ANC but the larger community of KwaZulu-Natal, who have been seeing these two important cities and towns being dragged towards economic bankruptcy.”

Opposition parties have also welcomed the decision to dismiss both executive councils.

eThekwini IFP leader Mdu Nkosi says, “It’s not enough. The ANC must tell us how they are going to deal with these members who are saying they are still going to take them to court; how they are going to deal with these members who are the supporters of Zandile Gumede, who want her to be the mayor. They have been protesting and disturbing people who are coming to the city.”

The ANC top five will meet on Wednesday to decide on who will fill these vacant positions.

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