Mavundla calls for city manager’s head

EThekwini Municipality Manager Musa Mbhele is wanted gone by Philani Mavundla who engineered his appointment. PICTURE: VIVIAN ATTWOOD

EThekwini Municipality Manager Musa Mbhele is wanted gone by Philani Mavundla who engineered his appointment. PICTURE: VIVIAN ATTWOOD

Published Mar 1, 2024


Durban — Former eThekwini deputy mayor Philani Mavundla has called on city manager Musa Mbhele to resign because of the City’s failure to provide basic services under his administration.

In an open letter to Mbhele, Mavundla said he regretted pushing for his appointment after the ANC did not support it, adding that he had risked his party’s working coalition with the ANC.

Although Mavundla is now the mayor of Umvoti Local Municipality in Greytown, he emphasised that he was still a citizen of eThekwini. He has several residences in the city and owns several business properties.

Former eThekwini deputy mayor Philani Mavundla says he now regrets assisting eThekwini Municipal Manager Musa Mbhele to get the job Picture: Gcina Ndwalane/African News Agency (ANA)

The letter reads, in part: “Dear Mr, Mbhele. It is with a heavy heart that I write this letter to you, not out of personal animosity, but due to the neglect of the residents and ratepayers of eThekwini under your leadership. Acknowledging your strong Christian beliefs, I trust that you value honesty above all else. It was publicly disclosed on May 3, 2023, by the Provincial Secretary of the ANC, Comrade Bheki Mtolo, that you were not the preferred choice for the position of eThekwini’s city manager. Despite the ANC's initial reservations, I pushed for your appointment in the name of fairness, rocking the ABC/ANC coalition in the municipality, according to reports. The upheaval within the ABC/ANC coalition resulted in me facing allegations of impropriety surrounding your appointment, casting doubt on my own ability to make informed decisions.”

Mavundla further stated that due to Mbhele’s evident shortcomings in fulfilling his responsibilities, he (Mavundla) was now acknowledging he erred by endorsing the appointment with his block of 13 votes. He now realised that the ANC was right and had a better understanding of Mbhele’s capabilities, which persuaded them to support another candidate.

“I extend my sincere apologies to the ANC and its councillors who opposed your appointment. The ongoing water shortages in the Highway area, resulting in children being unable to attend school, exemplify the dire consequences of your administration's failures. Furthermore, the unresolved sewer pollution in the Umlazi River and neglected roads in Mpumalanga, Hammarsdale, since the 2022 floods, underscore a pattern of negligence that cannot be ignored. It is evident that a change is needed, starting with the removal of incompetent officials under your supervision. Failure to address these issues promptly will not only erode public trust but also jeopardise the political standing of the ANC. In light of these concerns, I implore you to resign immediately to prevent further harm to the city and its residents. This is not a partisan request but a sincere plea from a disillusioned citizen who can no longer tolerate the inaction and mismanagement under your tenure,” the letter read.

Municipality spokesperson Gugu Sisilana said the City had noted the letter and calls by Mavundla. However, the city manager would not be distracted. Instead, he and his entire administration were hard at work focusing on improving service delivery and attracting investment to the city.

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