The ANC in the Eastern Cape has disbanded the troika of Amathole, made up of executive mayor Nceba Ndikinda, council speaker Nondumiso Mgidlana, and chief whip Nonceba Mfecane after they defied the provincial executive committee and rehired Thandekile Mnyimba as the municipal manager.
Mnyimba has been accused of ruling the municipality with an iron fist, dismissing and suspending municipal employees who dare to question his authority. Under his leadership, the municipality also failed to deliver services to communities of Amathole.
In June, municipal workers from across the province marched to the regional offices of Amathole district municipality to deliver a memorandum of demands that included the removal of Ndikinda as the mayor.
The SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) said in a statement that Ndikinda failed to steer the municipality in the right direction, leading to the collapse in governance and service delivery.
ANC Eastern Cape spokesperson Loyiso Magqashela said the executive committee previously advised against the reappointment of Mnyimba.
“We advised them to re-advertise and source a suitable candidate because under his [Mnyimba] stewardship everything has become a mess. Amathole is in a state of collapse, if it hasn’t collapsed,” said Magqashela.
“But we were not taken serious, we were treated more like we are chasing that fellow [Mnyimba] on factional basis.”
Workers have welcomed the decision by the ANC and said they hope the new Troika will withdraw the pending court challenge between the workers and Mnyimba. The workers had launched a court application after Mnyimba was reappointed to the position in June.
The matter was heard unopposed at the East London High Court on June 29 when judge Belinda Hartle declared Mnyimba’s reappointment invalid and set it aside.
But Mnyimba and the council went back to court in a bid to overturn the earlier court decision. The matter was first scheduled for July 12 but was later postponed to August 11 after Samwu and the MEC for cooperative governance and traditional affairs, Xolile Nqatha, applied to be part of court proceedings.
Samwu’s Amathole shopsteward Lorna Lubedu said the decision to disband the troika was long overdue. “For a very long time we had no stability and service delivery at Amathole. We believe that with this troika out of the way, service delivery will reach communities,” said Lubedu.
“This troika demonstrated that it didn’t have the interests of the municipality and of the people of Amathole at heart, because they managed to re-employ the municipal manager that had run down the municipality.”
Another shopsteward Rhadie Mabhece of Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union said the union welcomes any decision that ensures Mnyimba is out of the municipality.
Both unions have expressed confidence that the courts will agree with their application that Mnyimba is not qualified to be an accounting officer for Amathole or any municipality for that matter.