Mandeni mayor Siphesihle Zulu has been placed on “special leave”, following a week of riots in the town north of Durban.
KwaZulu-Natal ANC spokesperson Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu said the ANC had taken the decision to place the mayor on special leave following various engagements with residents during protest action that saw at least three factories and a car being set alight.
“After engagements with the community we saw it best that he go on special leave for 14-30 days pending an investigation into allegations made by the community,” said Simelane-Zulu.
Community members took to the streets two weeks ago, closing off roads with burning tyres and calling for the mayor to step down.
This was one of a number of grievances cited in a letter containing a list of demands – under the heading Shutdown Mandeni on Monday – sent to TimesLIVE during protest action in the area. The letter, which was circulated among residents, said that the action was to stop the spending of the community’s money, the alleged reckless usage of municipality resources and alleged nepotism in the municipality.
Meanwhile, the head of the municipal communications unit, Mdu Manzi, said that they had been informed that Zulu would be on leave but did not know the merits of the matter.