Quite a strongman in regional politics, it looks now that the beefing up of his security was a decision taken because of threats on his life but also it happens three days after the chaotic ANCYL congress in Badplaas that left an MKMVA member dead and one of the mayor’s two bodyguards arrested.
The Democratic Alliance says they were outnumbered when a resolution to appoint a private security company to provide extra bodyguards to Gert Sibande mayor Muzi Chirwa was passed.
The resolution was passed during a special council sitting on 30 May 2018 – just three days after the Gert Sibande ANCYL regional congress in Badplaas that saw MKMVA member Samson Madonsela shot dead. Chirwa’s personal bodyguard Phelele Shongwe, who is also an MKMVA member and who was there to provide security to the conference with other veterans, was arrested and later released by the court on R10 000 bail.
DA councillor in the Gert Sibande district municipality, Muso Kubheka, says Chirwa now has five bodyguards and a company called NJS Security was appointed.
“We said why don’t we take that money and improve service delivery rather than beefing up the mayor’s security.
“We were outnumbered by ANC councillors. They supported the report which said that there are a number of service delivery protests and the mayor should be protected because he receives death threats through his cellphone. We rejected this request,” Kubheka said.
ALSO SEE: Parliament committee concerned about Gert Sibande’s “sluggish” response to falling waste water infrastructure
Chirwa previously had two guards since his election as mayor in August 2016 but it now seems NJS Security has provided the three extra guards.
The Gert Sibande district municipality has 19 seats, 14 of which were won by the ANC, DA 3 and EFF 2.
Kubheka said the DA was the only party that opposed the request to beef up Chirwa’s bodyguards and “it was on record”.
A screenshot of a piece of paper seen by the 013NEWS reporter a week ago shows that NJS Security will charge the district municipality about R262 000 monthly, appointed “in emergency” to provide “personal security to the Executive Mayor on an urgent basis,” it reads.
Chirwa’s spokesman Lungisizwe Mkhwanazi didn’t answer e-mailed questions.
(edited by ZK)
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Part of the four Mpumalanga regions notorious with its communities for having leaders driving state-of-the-art vehicles while the people live in mess will finally answer.
Gert Sibande district mayor Muzi Chirwa’s “sluggish district” is now a subject of talk by a Parliament committee.
Parliament’s committee on sanitation is in the Mpumalanga province on an oversight visit and is now expressing concerns over what it saw in the district.
“The Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation is concerned by the state of Waste Water Treatment Works in the Gert Sibande district municipality that has resulted in hazardous spillages in the streams and rivers in the area,” portfolio committee chairman Mlungisi Johnson said in a statement on Thursday morning this week.
“According to the information received by the committee,” Johnson said, “none of the Waste Water Treatment Works in the district is fully functional”.
“This is despite the growing population and increased demand on the available infrastructure,” he said.
Johnson slammed the municipality and said that it was unacceptable that raw sewer finds its way into the rivers.
Systems of sewage and water in the district are flowing to rivers and dams and have affected the Vaal River, a national river, which starts in the area.
“At the Standerton Waste Water Treatment Works, the malfunction of filters has resulted in untreated water finding its way into the Vaal river system,” Johnson charged.
“The municipality sited the long procurement process as an impediment to dealing with some of the urgent challenges. Furthermore, the rate of implementation of projects is disturbingly slow which must be looked into,” he said.
He said the committee was very shocked to find that a 2 Megalitre plant has not been functional since 2015, owing to “sluggish intervention by all spheres of government in resolving such an environmental risk factor”.
“It is the committee’s considered view that a piecemeal approach will not work in resolving the challenges faced by the district.
“A comprehensive response is necessary to deal with this hazardous challenge and there is no sign [that] planning [is] happening at municipal level [to resolve the issue]”.
013NEWS could not draw comments from Chirwa as his spokesman Lungisizwe Mkhwanazi’s landline went unanswered on Thursday morning and his cellphone off. Chirwa also didn’t answer his phone.
(edited by ZK)
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