MK Veterans threaten to keep Mooi-Mpofana shut

Chaos reigned at the Mooi-Mpofana municipality on Wednesday as military veterans and community members brought the Midlands council to a complete standstill.

Former members of ANC military wing, Mkhonto weSizwe (MK Vets) instructed staff members to leave the municipal building on Wednesday after they failed to reach an agreement with council leadership on their demands.

A scheduled council meeting ended up not sitting as the MK Vets ran amok on Wednesday, also closing a driving testing centre and a tourism centre.

They have threatened to keep the municipal offices shut until the ANC reshuffles the municipal leadership.

The MK Vets are demanding eight of the 13 technical services posts that were recently advertised by the municipality. The municipality is offering the MK Vets two posts.

The MK Vets are also demanding that the council provides them with more sites for housing. They had met with mayor Xolani Duma, chief whip Lindiwe Shabalala and ward councillor Lindokuhle Mkhize, and failed to reach any agreement.

MK Vets regional secretary Menzi Mkhize blamed the leadership crisis in the ANC regional structure.

The region remains without an elected structure after the provincial leadership disbanded the regional executive committee in June. “People are doing as they please. They are only looking after themselves and forgetting about the rest,” he said. Mkhize said they would continue with their action should there be no solution .

Community members also protested outside the municipality on Wednesday demanding answers from ANC provincial leadership on their call for the mayor to be axed.

The community members had protested in Bruntville last week after the ANC missed a seven-day deadline on their call for the mayor to go.

Provincial executive committee members Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu and Kwazi Mshengu eventually arrived and met with the community members, and promised to report back to the community members before the end of next week.

IFP councillor Mthembeni Majola said it was high time that the ANC reshuffled the council.

“We are in a crisis. The ANC does not want to heed our calls. ANC councillors are boycotting council meetings because of their infighting. We need a fresh start,” he said.

Majola said they would object to any attempt by council to give MK Vets special treatment.

“Even if they give them one, we will reject that. This will create a bad precedent. We will have every formation coming to the municipality and demanding jobs. We will insist [on] a transparent process of shortlisting and interviewing of all the candidates that will apply for the job,” he said.

Mooi-Mpofana Municipality leadership declined to comment on the matter, referring all queries to the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta).

Cogta spokesperson Lennox Mabaso said it was unacceptable for anyone to close the municipality, no matter what their demands were.

“We would like to appeal to everyone to use proper channels if they have any concerns,” he said.