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Umvoti Mayor Philani Mavundla stripped of his mayoral chain

Abantu Batho Congress (ABC) leader and Umvoti Mayor Philani Mavundla was stripped of his mayoral chain and his speaker Mfundo Masondo was removed on Tuesday, eight days ahead of the anticipated 2024 National and General elections in the country.

The pair was removed during a meeting which resolved to appoint Inkatha Freedom Party’s (IFP’s) Gabriel Malembe following the IFP and ANC coalition agreement.

The IFP is however distancing itself and has since ordered Malembe to resign with immediate effect as the party is campaigning to unseat the ANC ahead of the elections.

The meeting which was held in Greytown under heavy security presence amid the South African Police Services (SAPS) was called by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) following a joint motion of no confidence by the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

IFP leader Velenkosini Hlabisa has said that “the mayor that was elected has been informed to submit a resignation letter, because he can’t do what he did without the mandate of the IFP”.

The IFP is campaigning with a hope to secure its stronghold of KwaZulu-Natal as well play an impactful role in Gauteng after the elections.

It has been reported that Masondo filed an urgent request with the Pietermaritzburtg High Court to push that the motion be tabled after the elections fearing for his life.

Meanwhile, ABC leader Mavundla has said the meeting was illegal and informal and also accused the ANC of abusing its powers.

ANC and ABC party members as well as the members of the public were also present.

In a statement the ABC President who is currently the Mayor of Umvoti Municipality has accused Cogta of disregarding the High Court order.

“We can confidently confirm that the Cogta appointment was tasked with the mission to remove both Mavundla and Masondo at any cost, and this directive was carried out despite the existing circumstances, ” said the party.

updates: The President of the ABC Mr Mavundla and its chairperson Mr Masando are still running Umvoti municipality as Mayor and Speaker this was conformed by Mr Masondo on the interview with VM Radio on wednesday.

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