EFF coun­cil­lors re­main de­fi­ant on bud­get

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - TANKISO MAKHETHA tankiso.makhetha@inl.co.za

EFF coun­cil­lors in the tur­bu­lent Mo­gale City have de­fended their de­ci­sion to vote with the ANC on the bud­get dur­ing a mu­nic­i­pal­ity meet­ing.

The coun­cil­lors have come un­der fire from their party for sid­ing with the ANC af­ter the DA staged a walkout on Tues­day.

EFF spokesper­son Mbuyiseni Nd­lozi said its mem­bers were com­plicit in nor­mal­is­ing cor­rup­tion and crim­i­nal­ity, adding that dis­ci­plinary steps would be taken against its coun­cil­lors who al­legedly “be­trayed” the party by vot­ing with the ANC. The EFF sup­ported the bud­get tabled on Tues­day by the ANC’s mayor, Pa­trick Lipudi.

This is af­ter the ANC won back the mu­nic­i­pal­ity af­ter the DA’s Michael Holen­stein was voted out through a se­cret bal­lot in a vote of no con­fi­dence three weeks ago.

“If the or­gan­i­sa­tion takes steps to dis­ci­pline us and it ends with us be­ing ex­pelled from the party, then so be it,” said Smanga Mkhum­beni, who leads the EFF cau­cus in the re­gion.

“This is be­cause we stand by our de­ci­sion as it rep­re­sents the poor­est of the poor in our re­gion. We even in­di­cated dur­ing the meet­ing that ba­sic ser­vices for the poor should be a pri­or­ity.”

Mkhum­beni said their de­ci­sion to vote with the ANC was based on the mayor agree­ing to in­cor­po­rat­ing their sub­mis­sions into the bud­get.

“We could not re­ject the bud­get be­cause all the sub­mis­sions we made speak to the prob­lems of black peo­ple. It wasn’t a de­ci­sion based on the par­ties be­cause it’s not about us and it’s not about the ANC,” he said.

Nd­lozi, how­ever, said the coun­cil­lors went against the party’s res­o­lu­tions, “ren­der­ing the non-ne­go­tiable car­di­nal pil­lar on anti-cor­rup­tion fu­tile”.

“There­fore, by vot­ing for the ANC, they have be­come com­plicit in nor­mal­is­ing cor­rup­tion and crim­i­nal­ity.

“The EFF is await­ing a for­mal re­port upon which it will in­sti­tute dis­ci­plinary pro­ceed­ings against them.

“Our im­me­di­ate tac­ti­cal duty is to unite with all op­po­si­tion to re­move this par­a­sitic and klep­to­cratic regime of ANC klep­to­ma­ni­acs.”

Coun­cil­lors had pre­vi­ously been un­able to adopt the mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s bud­get for the sec­ond time late last week due to a low at­ten­dance from mem­bers in op­po­si­tion par­ties, mak­ing it im­pos­si­ble to have the num­bers to pass the bud­get.

This could have led to the mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s coun­cil be­ing dis­solved and put un­der the ad­min­is­tra­tion of the prov­ince un­til by-elec­tions could be held and a new lead­er­ship elected.

PIC­TURE: JEF­FREY ABRA­HAMS

BIG STICK: The EFF’s Mbuyiseni Nd­lozi

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