The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) led Nquthu Municipality in northern KwaZulu-Natal is taking the provincial Cooperative Governance Department to court for placing it under administration.
The decision was announced by COGTA MEC, Sipho Hlomuka on Thursday. He cited a recent audit outcome and a high court ruling that the appointment of certain acting senior managers was irregular.
The Nquthu council has argued that the MEC has no basis to place the municipality under administration.
The decision to challenge Hlomuka’s action was taken during a council meeting on Thursday, a day after the provincial Cooperative Governance Department announced that it is placing the municipality under administration.
In February, the provincial government placed the municipality under administration. But the decision was overturned by the National Minister of Co-operative Governance Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. She argued that there was no substantial reason to place the municipality under administration.
“I think this intervention is not genuine, but a political ploy by MEC because in March Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma turned down an earlier decision by Cogta in the province to place the municipality under administration. Dlamini- Zuma instead recommended that the provincial government intervene with Section 139 1A which means they could monitor, guide, and assist the municipality. But Cogta in KZN did not do that. Yes, we did get a disclaimer audit outcome, but the reasons for that, the previous senior managers, when they left they deliberately took with them crucial information which was required for auditing purposes,” says Mayor Lindokuhle Shabalala.
Nquthu municipality threatens to take COGTA to court:
The IFP in KwaZulu-Natal has accused Hlomuka of helping the African National Congress (ANC) to run the municipality through the back door by placing it under administration.
Provincial party chairperson, Thamsanqa Ntuli says the ANC is hell-bent on running the Nquthu Municipality even though they lost elections in the area.
“We are all quite aware that the IFP and the ANC are working well in the City of Johannesburg but here in KZN it’s a different story. Hence you see the agenda against all our municipalities in the province of KZN. We are quite very concerned with the behaviour of COGTA and MEC for COGTA who actually is allowing the narrow agenda of ANC councillors in Nquthu to be guiding the activities of COGTA, it’s quite very unfortunate.”
The IFP is also unhappy with the ANC after it named one of its regional structures in the far north of the province after its late freedom fighter, Nobleman ‘Mzala’ Nxumalo. It also says the move would regress reconciliatory talks between the two parties spearheaded by leaders of both parties at the national level.