‘Don’t claim easy victories’ – MEC Mahlaba warns Kaunda

By Lungani Zungu

MEC for human settlement in KwaZulu-Natal, Ntuthuko Mahlaba, has stuck to his guns by insisting that eThekwini Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda is “claiming easy victories”.

The feud between the two ANC heavyweights stems from the provision of permanent shelters for the April flood victims.

Mahlaba, who is also the provincial treasurer of the ANC, blamed Kaunda for jumping the gun after announcing that all the April flood victims would be placed in permanent residences in December.

“He knows the procedures of the government. What he is doing is wrong. Why announce things that are still in the pipeline? I maintain that he is claiming easy victories,” said Mahlaba.

Mahlaba, the former Newcastle mayor, said Kaunda must toe the line of the ANC-led provincial government.

“Kaunda is a mayor of a city and must work with the provincial government if there’s anything he wishes to promise the people. He must stop being a self-serving leader,” said Mahlaba.

Kaunda fell out with the provincial ANC leadership of which Mahlaba is part, after he publicly endorsed former KZN premier Sihle Zikalala to be re-elected as provincial chairperson in July.

Zikakala lost to Siboniso Duma.

While Mahlaba and Kaunda squabble, the April flood victims are still housed in community halls.

Siboniso Ngema of Mayville said: “We don’t care what they say to each other in public. All that we want are decent permanent shelters. It is not nice staying in community halls.”

Kaunda has been in a series of clashes with the deputy mayor of eThekwini, Philani “PG” Mavundla, the president of Abantu Batho Congress (ABC), over a number of issues.

Mavundla, a former mayor of the ANC in Greytown, KZN midlands, was elected as deputy mayor after forming a coalition with the ANC following last year’s local government elections, where the government failed to get an outright victory in the only metro in KZN.

All attempts to get a comment from Kaunda were unsuccessful as his phone rang to voicemail.

Pictured above: MEC for Human Settlements Ntuthoko Mahlaba, and eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda during happier times 

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