“Why I collapsed,” Witbank mayor answers on SOMA gaffe

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“Why I collapsed,” Witbank mayor answers on SOMA gaffe
MISCONCEPTION: Emalahleni mayor Connie Nkalintshana has refuted an 013NEWS report that she collapsed while delivering her maiden SOMA and that this occurred a short while after she drank tap water in an effort to demonstrate that it is clean and safe for human consumption. PICTURE BY Youtube

She was reading her speech on stage, appearing quite jolly and confident but then as she continued dignitaries and guests watched as she suffered a collapse in front them.


Emalahleni mayor Connie Nkalintshana has spoken out about the mishap that occurred at the Witbank municipality where she collapsed while delivering her maiden state of the municipality address.

She was delivering the 34 page prepared speech Thursday 30 June 2022.

013NEWS reported that the mayor collapsed a short while after she demonstrated that the municipality’s water is “safe for people to drink”. She said that is not the reason she could not finish her address…

“Why I collapsed,” Witbank mayor answers on SOMA gaffe
Colleagues came to the mayor’s aide after she felt unwell while delivering her first State of the Municipality Address. PIC 013NEWS

“It was not about water,” she said when she spoke to the 013NEWS reporter over the phone.

Nkalintshana said that the reason she collapsed is because she was recently attacked by Covid-19 and since then she has not been well.

“No, no. The reason I was not feeling well has got to do with other health reasons, you know I had Covid recently, and it is not yet fully out of my body,” she said Friday Midday.

The mayor had earlier, while talking about the delivery of clean water, made a statement demonstrating her faith in the cleanliness of the municipality potable water.

The mining area of Witbank has had a crisis of dirty water for almost two decades where residents have often complained about the water being brown and having a bad smell.

When she took office Nkalintshana vowed to deliver to clean drinking water to all residents.

“The municipality is participating in both the Blue and Green Drop of water and waste quality monitoring. I can confirm that the municipal potable water does meet the minimum norm standards and is suitable for human consumption,” Nkalintshana said while on stage.

Pausing mid-speech to get a glass of water from a jug behind her, Nkalintshana raised the glass of ‘tap water’ and said: “I have brought this water to drink it in front of you to say our water as Emalahleni it is safe for us to drink.

“Cheers to that!” she said after taking a big gulp.

Nkalintshana took over office after the late mayor Linah Malatjie died in a car crash together with husband Sepetlele Malatjie on 3 Jan 2022.

Her election to the position was hotly contested – with speaker Mduduzi ‘Mswati’ Nkosi and chief whip Qonde Maseko vying for the post during the interviews for Malatjie’s replacement.

About 20 minutes later Nkalintshana said she is no longer feeling well and requested MMC for finance, Faith Msibi to take over the remainder of her speech before being assisted to sit on a nearby chair.

An ambulance was called and she was rushed to hospital where 013NEWS understands she was kept overnight for observation.

“The executive mayor had to consult her medical doctor for further examination and overnight observation. Currently she is in good spirit and should be able to resume her duties subject to the doctor’s advice,” the municipality said in a statement.

(edited by MLM)
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