By Zintle Ngalo
A WhatsApp message is circulating claiming to threaten the Makana Citizens Front (MCF) with legal action “by Makana” over an alleged statement by its Ward 7 Candidate Xoliswa Danyeli.
The issue arises from an article in the London Times in which Ms Doneyeli is quoted on the state of the municipality followed by a statement separated by a comma from what she said: “reflected in its decision to spend Covid-19 funds on a local mayor’s new car”. Ms Donyeli categorically did not say this nor does this statement refer to the Makana mayor. The Auditor General has reported that an Eastern Cape mayor did indeed spend Covid19 funds on a car.
The WhatsApp reads as follows:
“The municipality wishes to reject with the contempt it deserves the blatant lie attributed to Ms Donyeli of Makana Citizens Front that Makana municipal council diverted Covid19 funds to buy a new mayoral car. This statement is not only malicious but is intended to harm the good name of Makana municipal council internationally. This desperation by MCF to get votes by using unethical means is distasteful in the extreme. The municipality demands that MCF distances itself from this statement and that MCF must cause an retraction from this statement by The Times of UK. Failure to do this will leave the municipality with no option but to seek legal redress.”
MCF has received no notice of any intention to take legal action and it would be improper for the municipality to take action on a political matter. If they did so, we would pursue punitive costs to the maximum extent allowed by the law against the applicants in their personal capacity and we will also refer this matter to the IEC as the municipal manager cannot both enter the political fray and hold the role of Municipal Electoral Officer.
It is alleged that this WhatsApp message is from the Makana mayor but require confirmation or denial that this WhatsApp is from an official source since we received it indirectly. If it is confirmed, then we ask the IEC to remove the Makana Municipal Manager, Moppo Mene, from the role of Municipal Electoral Officer with immediate effect, as this WhatsApp implies that he will act on political direction.