Councillor says he’s victim of a ‘witch hunt’ for speaking out

STANDING FIRM: ANC ward 17 councillor Mncedisi Mbengo Picture: ZINTLE BOBELO

Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality (EMLM) ANC ward 17 councillor Mncedisi Mbengo has labelled allegations of misconduct against him as a ‘witch hunt’ and ‘abuse of power’ by the ANC regional office.

This after Mbengo alleged treasurer Madoda Papiyana and secretary Lusanda Sizani were responsible for collapsing the EMLM and had called chairperson Wongama Gela useless in a recording that recently did the rounds.

Mbengo was summoned to give reasons why his alleged act of misconduct should not be considered as a violation of the ANC disciplinary code. A letter directed by regional secretary Sizani to the councillor stated that he had acted in breach of the membership oath and that his actions had the potential to bring the ANC into disrepute, to provoke divisions and negatively impact unity in the party.

However, in his letter of response seen by The Rep, Mbengo indicated there was no reason for him to undergo any disciplinary process. The conversation was private with no intention to cause any harm to the reputation of the ANC. There is no evidence to pin my intention to the allegations. I fully confirm that voice note as mine, shared in a private engagement. I can also confirm that all the things I have said in the voice note are true and there is evidence to collaborate if the need arises.

He said the letter sought to violate his constitutional right, the right to privacy, freedom of opinion and the freedom of speech. Your letter borders on gossip and insinuates an intention to violate my hardwon constitutional rights.

When asked for comment recently, Sizani said the matter was internal and between Mbengo and the ANC.

With the allegations levelled against him, an invitation to sit with the EMLM ad hoc committee chairperson, seen by The Rep reporter, was recently sent to Mbengo to, as indicated in the letter, receive an indictment for breaching councillors’ conduct.

EMLM spokesperson Lonwabo Kowa, who did not want to confirm or deny whether the letter was issued to the councillor, said: “This is an internal process of the municipality and no information can be shared at this stage.”

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