‘Peter left a legacy of corruption’ – Mxube

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Grahamstown businessman Lungile Mxube was scathing in his criticism of the ANC-led Makana Municipality, accusing former mayor Zamuxolo Peter of entrusting his legacy of corruption to Nomhle Gaga.

Grahamstown businessman Lungile Mxube was scathing in his criticism of the ANC-led Makana Municipality, accusing former mayor Zamuxolo Peter of entrusting his legacy of corruption to Nomhle Gaga.

The ANC, meanwhile, has hit back against the organisers of the 'Unite Against Corruption' march in Grahamstown on Wednesday, accusing them of playing with people's emotions and alleging that outsiders were paid to participate.

The march was part of a national campaign of organisations, including civil society, unions and political parties. Other marches happened in Pretoria and in Cape Town.

Mxube was the main speaker, as a member of the United Front and on behalf of the coalition of social movements.

He said they can no longer be spectators while "criminals, political thugs, corrupt municipal officials and councillors continue to loot taxpayers' money".

Reading the petition to the excited group of about 150 marchers, Mxube said Peter and the former Speaker of Makana Municipality Rachel Madinda-Isaac would not be missed.

"They have destroyed this municipality, it's like a scrapyard," he said. In both his address and in the petition, Mxube also took a swipe at the newly appointed mayor, Gaga, saying that before her appointment to her current position she had presided over the collapse of the Infrastructure portfolio.

"(As) a result we are sitting with bad roads, poor sanitation, crumbling infrastructure, water and electricity crisis," he said.

One of the demands listed in the petition, handed over to acting municipal manager Riana Meiring by Mxube, says: "We demand urgent investigations into the housing allocation (in the Extension 10 housing project) as we believe that politically connected, illegitimate people have been allocated houses, while their houses are occupied by those close to the corrupt political elite…"

Mxube also called for the municipality's Council to be dissolved so that the people of Makana can elect trusted, loyal and genuine leaders who are committed to serve them. The marchers also urged the municipality to make the Kabuso report a public document and to take immediate action against all those implicated in that report.

Mxube also called for an immediate comprehensive forensic investigation to expose ghost workers in the municipality and for the officials implicated in such corrupt activity to be dealt with.

Other speakers at the march spoke on behalf of Azapo Youth, Economic Freedom Fighters, the Black Student Movement and individual citizens from Extension 6 and Transit Camp.

Ayanda Kota, who was speaking on behalf of the United Front and Masifunde Education & Development Project Trust, was critical of the fact that South African Municipal Workers Union who had downed tools were not allowed to join the march.

Kota said it was disappointing that people who face the same struggles as the marchers were refused permission to join the march. The leadership of the ANC in the Makana sub-region, clearly not impressed by the stance taken by the marchers, felt they needed to respond to some of the issues raised.

ANC sub-regional chairperson Mabhuti Matyumza said the ANC wants an accountable government because they believe in a democratic state. He said there is a tendency by some organisations to say the ANC is enjoying the corruption that is happening in government. But corruption undermines the ANC's own policies, Matyumza said.

Matyumza said leaders must understand in which context they are speaking.

"For example if you are accusing anyone you must know that there are procedures in terms of the justice system that you are supposed to follow," he said.

Matyumza said people are using a loose approach in these matters. "I wish people (without defending anyone) can speak on these matters with facts in front of them."

Matyumza accused some of the marchers of name dropping. Matyumza said the ANC is a patient organisation which understands that there are laws and there are sectors and departments which are put in place to ensure accountability.

"The EFF and UPM and these other organisations must stop using our people. There are very few people from Grahamstown who are members of the EFF. They rented people from outside for this march," he said.

"This is a national agenda. They are just doing this to account for the money they have been given," he added. Matyumza said the people of Grahamstown are not blind. He said they know that despite the current state of this municipality efforts are being made to turn things around.

He said the organisers of the march are not genuine about the issues that they are raising, but are just playing with people's emotions. "All that they were doing was election fever and as ANC locally we are prepared to deal with it."

anele@grocotts.co.za

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