Tumult in eThekwini: EFF’s Clash with Police at Council Meeting

Dispute over City Manager's Address Leads to Chaos

Tumult in eThekwini: EFF’s Clash with Police at Council Meeting

In a recent eThekwini council meeting, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) found themselves in a heated confrontation with police forces. The incident occurred on October 31, 2023, when EFF members attempted to block eThekwini city manager Musa Mbhele from delivering his address to the council. The clash was a result of Speaker Thabani Nyawose’s order to remove the EFF from the meeting, leading to a physical altercation between the party members and the police.

The scuffle was captured in videos and shared on social media, highlighting the tension within the council chambers. EFF caucus leader and Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Human Settlements and Infrastructure, Themba Mvubu, accused the metro of forfeiting over R1 billion to the National Treasury. He claimed that there was no plan indicating that the funds would be spent by the end of the financial year, which led to the loss.

Contradicting Mvubu’s statement, eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda denied any failure to spend the conditional grant allocated for infrastructure repair, which amounted to R1.9 billion. Mayor Kaunda clarified that the municipality had applied for a rollover of unspent conditional grants totaling R1.8 billion. He emphasized that the metro had not forfeited any money to the National Treasury and accused ActionSA of spreading misinformation.

The conditional grant in question, amounting to R1.5 billion, was related to the Municipal Disaster Relief Grant. The debate over these funds comes in the wake of the KwaZulu-Natal floods, with victims pleading for dignified shelter and the government’s response to the disaster being scrutinized.

This incident underscores the ongoing challenges within the eThekwini municipality, as political parties grapple with issues of governance, financial management, and service delivery amidst the backdrop of recent natural calamities that have put additional strain on the city’s resources and infrastructure.