Unease can be felt in the corridors of Emalahleni Local Municipality (ELM) as a power shift is allegedly on the cards, reports Witbank News.
Rumours indicate that the newly registered political party, the South African National Congress of Traditional Authorities (Sancota), is allegedly roping in some ANC councillors.
Local businessman Themba Sgudla told Witbank News in an exclusive interview last Thursday that ANC councillors serving in Emalahleni are diverting to Sancota.
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Sgudla, an estranged friend of Deputy President David Mabuza according to City Press, formed Sancota to bring traditional leaders into a political party.
His view with the party is that traditional leaders must take up their rightful positions and run government.
Sgudla will remain president of his organisation the Practical Radical Economic Transformation (PRET), which will become Sancota’s “alliance partner”.
Municipal spokesperson Kingdom Masbuza said: “Emalahleni Local Municipality has noted allegations that some seven councillors have resigned or have planned to resign. But since you state that these are ANC councillors, we would advise that you speak directly with the party. Remember that councillors are deployed by their political parties, and as such, when they either resign or get recalled, it then becomes the business of their respective political parties.
“It is for that reason that the municipality would rather not comment on those allegations which seek to cause instability within the municipality.”
Lindiwe Ntshalintshali, acting ANC provincial secretary, said the ANC has not received any formal communication from any councillor expressing interest to leave the organisation to join a newly formed party.
The ELM has received one resignation from councillor Timothy Lukhele from Ward 29, but there were no reasons stated for the resignation.
“It must be categorically stated that the councillor who has resigned was allegedly under severe pressure from the community for various reasons, including service delivery,” Ntshalintshali said.
However, it is reported that ANC councillors from Bushbuckridge and Govan Mbeki municipalities have also allegedly resigned to join Sancota.
The matter will be tabled to council tomorrow on Thursday. Once accepted, a vacancy will be declared and the by-elections will be declared by the IEC to fill Lukhele’s vacancy.
Lukhele declined to speak to Witbank News.