ANC “outnumbered us” to pass resolution giving Muzi Chirwa more bodyguards – DA

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.

ANC "outnumbered us" to pass resolution giving Muzi Chirwa more bodyguards - DA

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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“CWP work is not necessarily employment,” mayor tells residents

The residents want the mayor to intervene in the little money earned by the men and women in orange.

Chief Albert Luthuli mayor Dan ‘DP’ Nkosi says the municipality will try and absorb two or three workers from the Community Work Programme should there be a vacant post.

DP was responding to questions from community members during a Mayoral Imbizo he had in Carolina’s Silobela township.

One of the residents had asked the mayor to take the CWP workers as permanent municipal workers, saying the R700 that they earn a month is too little.

“Please, please hire these people or increase their wage,” the resident said to thunderous applause.

When he took to the stage, Nkosi explained to the residents packed in a tent erected in an open field that the R700 that the CWP workers earn monthly is money determined by national government – by the department of co-operative governance.

“CWP is not necessarily employment,” Nkosi said.

“I must tell you that CWP is a means to alleviate poverty by getting the unemployed to do something for their communities in exchange for the R700. But that happens in the process of the unemployed person seeking a job and once he or she finds a job then involvement with CWP stops,” the mayor.

“When there is a post at the municipality you are encouraged to apply,” Nkosi said.

He spoke to scores who came to attend his Mayoral Imbizo on Thursday a week ago.

During the Mayoral Imbizo, DP delivered a speech, touching on the progress made by the municipality and allowed questions from the community members.

He said he was happy to hear that people were voicing out their happiness in getting RDP houses, water as well as toilets.

He unveiled the newly paved Coetze street in the Carolina area and will wait for an operational plan from the taxi association to unveil the newly built long-distance taxi rank.

(edited by ZK)

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Muzi Chirwa’s “sluggish” district put on spotlight

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.

Muzi Chirwa's "sluggish" district put on spotlight

“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”.

Muzi Chirwa's "sluggish" district put on spotlight

“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.

Muzi Chirwa's "sluggish" district put on spotlight

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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Mpumalanga regional chairs gather in bid to rescue NDZ

With just few a days to go, the ANC’s 54th congress will obviously be the toughest yet.

ANC regional leaders in the Mpumalanga province are in a bid to rescue presidential contender Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s sinking campaign ship as five of the nine ANC provinces have declared support for Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Dlamini-Zuma has since been nominated by KZN, North West and Free State, with Mpumalanga nominating Unity.

On Thursday last week (8 Dec), Nkangala ANC chairman Speedy Mashilo convened what they say was a ‘caucus’ – attended by the region’s delegates – and inviting Bohlabela leader Gillion Mashego, Gert Sibande’s Muzi Chirwa and eHlanzeni’s Ngrayi Ngwenya.

Sources who attended this meeting in KwaMhlanga later on the day said it was chaired by Mashilo – and that both Mashego and Chirwa spoke and all told the delegates that they support Dlamini-Zuma.

Ngwenya didn’t come to the meeting but did send an apology, sources told the 013NEWS reporter.

Nkangala delegates were assured by Mashilo, Mashego and Chirwa that all is well with the NDZ ship, amidst Limpopo, Gauteng and the three cape provinces nominating Ramaphosa as President Jacob Zuma’s successor.

SEE ALSO: Dlamini-Zuma ship sinks as more provinces vote CR

The four Mpumalanga regional leaders want provincial leader DD Mabuza to leave the province and go serve as the deputy president of the ANC.

“The caucus was meant to send a message that delegates should know that we support NDZ and that this thing of Unity should not worry them,” a delegate who attended the KwaMhlanga caucus said on Friday morning.

“They did say that we should not go all over the place pronouncing people, but we should know that we are NDZ,” the source said, adding that of the over 170 Nkangala delegates, 147 came to the Mashilo meeting and agreed to support NDZ.

“Chirwa and Mashego spoke and reaffirmed our support for comrade Nkosazana,” the source told the reporter.

Dlamini-Zuma was during BGMs nominated by only 123 of the total Mpumalanga branches, Ramaphosa only 117 and Mabuza’s Unity receiving 223 branch nomination votes.

SEE ALSO: Mabuza’s hidden Unity agenda disappoints CR, NDZ camps

The regional leaders want Mabuza’s Unity delegates turned into NDZ votes in conference in order to allow him to be the deputy president.

Mashilo confirmed convening the meeting and said his other counterparts were invited to demonstrate to delegates the support of his region for NDZ.

“Let me not speak for the province, I’m not allowed to speak on its behalf,” Mashilo said when the reporter asked him whether as Mpumalanga they support NDZ, “but as Nkangala yes we support NDZ,” he said over the phone.

ALSO RELATED: Will Mabuza avail himself for deputy president position?

(edited by ZK)
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BGMs… Chirwa’s branch nominates ‘Unity’ to lead ANC

The branch of one of the ANC leaders of the regions of Mpumalanga had a BGM on Thursday afternoon, nominating delegates and candidates for the ANC’s 54th congress.

The branch of the leader of the ANC in the Gert Sibande region of Mpumalanga has conducted a branch general meeting only to put nobody’s name on the nomination form.

Members confirmed that during a nomination process at the Manzana Cultural Centre they agreed on the word ‘Unity’ instead of someone’s name.

This is after the ANC in Mpumalanga released a statement to dismiss reports that provincial chairman DD Mabuza has instructed PEC members and regional leaders to put the word ‘Unity’ on the nomination forms than someone’s name.

SEE HERE: Mpumalanga ANC denies ordering branches to nominate ‘Unity’ 

Members in Badplaas ward 17 where Chirwa’s membership is said it was after consideration during discussions that “putting people’s names on the nomination form will kill the ANC”.

“Others wanted CR17 but the majority said they want ‘Unity’, we voted. Unity. And then we signed the nomination forms and closed the meeting,” one ward 17 branch member said after the nomination meeting had concluded.

‘Unity’ is the new trend used by branches influenced by Mabuza’s call for unity in the province.

They argue that should one between Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa win, the one who loses will leave the ANC to form a splinter party as it happened in 2007 when the Congress of the People was formed and in 2012 when the EFF was also formed by ANC members whose slate lost in congress.

They say they will not allow the 7 contestants – Dlamini-Zuma, Ramaphosa, Baleka Mbete, Lindiwe Sisulu, Jeff Radebe, Zweli Mkhize and Mathews Phosa – to kill the ANC in front of their watch and that they want the ANC to sit down and agree on who is best suitable to take over from outgoing President Jacob Zuma.

The Unity candidate, believed to be Mabuza himself or Zweli Mkhize, will be elected from the floor once delegates have agreed on who is best for the positions in the top 6 and executive and in that way electing what the Unity group calls an “uncontested leadership”.

RELATED: Speedy Mashilo slams as ‘factional’ reports he supports CR

But Mabuza himself is connected with the Dlamini-Zuma group, which wants him to deputise her and NDZ supporters in the Mpumalanga province believe that ‘Unity’ is a Mabuza sign for a support for NDZ.

The Unity group doesn’t say a word about the NDZ group but is openly opposed to the CR17 group and this is seen in statements released by the spokeswoman of the ANC in the province, Sasekani Manzini – distancing the Mpumalanga ANC from the CR17 camp.

Supporters of CR17 in Badplaas said they were not satisfied with how the BGM was conducted.

“If you say Unity, who is Unity? Delegates will go to congress and elect Unity? Doesn’t the constitution say we must nominate leaders during BGMs?” a CR17 supporter asked.

(edited by MLM)

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