Msunduzi Municipality Mayor Mzimkhulu Thebolla is a strong contender for the top position in the new council, set to be inaugurated in the coming days.
This follows last week’s municipal elections.
According to ANC insiders within the party’s Moses Mabhida regional leadership, Thebolla has been recommended for the top post.
“There are some who have a different opinion but what is not being disputed is that he possesses both the experience and qualifications. It is important to state at this stage that the final decision would be made by the ANC provincial leadership,” the source said.
According to ANC guidelines, the party’s regional leadership structure recommends three names to the provincial leadership for the position of mayor.
Out of the three, the provincial leadership then decides on who should be the mayor.
According to ANC regional leadership sources, Thebolla was recommended alongside the region’s former ANC Youth League (ANCYL) leader, Mxolisi Mkhize, and ANC Women’s League regional secretary, Zanele Ngcobo.
Ngcobo, who served as ANC Msunduzi councillor in the previous term, said she was aware that her name had been mentioned in some “circles”.
“Well, people can say whatever they want to say but, in the end, it is the ANC which decides. As far as I’m aware, the ANC has not yet said anything,” she said.
Thebolla said he, too, was not paying any attention to what “people in some corners” are saying.
“Maybe if I had been looking forward to something then I would have paid attention to what people are saying. Since I joined the ANC, I have never lifted my hand and said I want this or that position, I have always subjected myself to the discipline and processes of the ANC,” he said.
Mkhize, who topped the ANC Msunduzi councillor candidate list in the municipal elections, could not be reached for comment.
A former KZN legislature staffer, Thebolla was appointed by the ANC provincial leadership in 2019 after infighting within the ANC’s top leadership in Msunduzi had rendered the council dysfunctional.
At the time of his appointment, Thebolla pledged to bring about stability in the municipality.
While Thebolla’s critics have claimed that he had done little to stabilise the municipality, which had been accused of failing to deliver basic services — ranging from electricity supply to waste management — Thebolla had insisted that there was now some stability in the council.
Council meetings, which before his appointment hardly sat, were now sitting on a regular basis.
While there were still some challenges in terms of service delivery, Thebolla said there had been significant improvement.
The ANC regional leadership is currently facing a revolt from party members not happy with the manner in which the organisation’s councillor candidate list was compiled. On Saturday a group of disgruntled ANC members protested outside the party’s regional offices in Pietermaritzburg.