The only independent ward councillor in the Collins Chabane Municipality in Malamulele, Limpopo, has promised to be accountable to the villagers.

Phillip Munyai was elected during the recent municipal elections. He contested the 2016 municipal elections under the banner of the governing party, African National Congress (ANC). But, he went independent after he was allegedly removed from the councillor candidate list.

Residents at Mulenzhe have held a celebratory rally for his victory of Ward 19. The Collins Chabane Local Municipality is under the control of the ANC except Ward 19. The municipality has 36 wards.

Munyai says he will continue to be humble and serve communities in the best possible way. After the 2016 municipal elections, Munyai served the communities under the banner of the ANC. He says that the experience gained in his first term will help him to serve the people.

“I don’t have a secret, so far it’s people who said I must represent again because the job of a ward councillor is to be a mediator, it’s being loyal to all community members, all the structures without hiding anything. I am very accessible when there is a funeral, I am the one who goes and takes a grader to serve the community and the bereaved family. Up so far, I have three different projects.”

A resident and South African Communist Party (SACP) supporter, Joseph Rambau, says Munyai has proven to be a good councillor.

“I am a Deputy Chairperson of the SACP as we know that the SACP was supposed to be supporting or to be assisting the ANC during the campaigns, but because the community has said we want Nkanukeni to be there we were forced. As SACP we decided that we are going to do what the community tasked us to do. So that is why maybe it was easy to support him. So we can see that if he is given a chance if you give him this in five years’ time, he will provide more for the community no doubt about it.”

Residents of Mulenzhe and surrounding villages have described Munyai as a good leader.

“He has got energy, he works day and night when we call him he comes to you and assists you. He is a very energetic man every time when we need him, he is able to be found.”

The celebratory rally was attended by people from various political backgrounds.