WATCH as new Ugu mayor Mondli Chiliza is sworn in

Ugu speaker Ntombifikile Gumede congratulates the new Ugu mayor, Councillor Mondli Chiliza.

TONGUES wagged as the ANC’s Mondli Chiliza finally won the ‘battle’ to become Ugu Mayor.

Councillor Chiliza, who belongs to the ‘progressives’, was allegedly widely backed by the ‘Forces of change’ in the Provincial Executive Committee (PEC), the latter group supporting provincial leader Sihle Zikalala, who in turn is a Zuma man nationally.

The move, described as ‘strategic’ by some members, sparked concerns as to mayor Chiliza’s loyalty to the ‘progressives’ ahead of the August and December ANC conferences.

Cllr Chiliza was sworn in at an inauguration ceremony at the Port Shepstone Civic Centre yesterday (Wednesday).

Although some ANC members, including his staff at Ugu, were not too happy about the move, during the inauguration they all sang songs in unity to congratulate the new mayor.

Lower South Coast ANCYL regional secretary, Nkazimulo Mavundla (left) and ANC regional secretary Mzwandile Mkhwanazi.

According to a member of the forces, the move was well executed to gain mayor Chiliza’s support and that of the Umzumbe sub-region in the upcoming conferences.

The position of mayor had become vacant after previous mayor, Tolomane Mnyayiza,  succumbed to a long battle with illness.

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The battle between the party’s factions to find a replacement began in January; three candidates were put forward to the PEC for consideration,  including axed MEC for Education, Peggy Nkonyeni and speaker, Cllr Ntombifikile Gumede.

Regional secretary, Mzwandile Mkhwanazi, congratulated the new mayor. Speaking to media on Tuesday during a press briefing, he thanked the province for choosing Cllr Chiliza to lead Ugu.

According to Mr Mkhwanazi, Cllr Chiliza grew up in a small village called Nomakhanzana in Umzumbe and therefore has a good knowledge of the Ugu District.

Oscar Luthuli and Nyuleka Ncedani.

“He also served as Umzumbe mayor for five years as well as Ugu speaker and deputy mayor before his new appointment.”

Provincial secretary, Super Zuma, dismissed claims that the move was to sow division within the party, saying the correct processes were followed and that Cllr Chiliza had triumphed because of his experience.

Mr Zuma declined to comment about alleged efforts by the PEC to ‘shrug off’ Peggy Nkonyeni.

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  AUTHOR
Zimasa Mgwili
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