An accountability meeting for Nemato Ward 9 Councillor Mbuleli “Stwiga” Njibana, in which he reported back to constituents of all that he had accomplished, had resident and EFF member Bonani Ketiso feeling excluded as the meeting was closed to non-ANC members.
Njibana organised the meeting at Jauka Hall to speak about his accomplishment during his term.
“This is an ANC meeting, for ANC members, ANC voters and ANC supporters,” declared Njibana in the meeting.
It was these words that made Ketiso, a Ward 9 resident, feel excluded on the basis of political association.
Expressing his frustration Ketiso said: “In the previous meetings he used to call any member of the community, what has changed now?”
Ketiso said Njibana was the councillor for the entire community in Ward 9, not just ANC members.
The exclusivist nature of the meeting further led Ketiso to believe that ANC loyalists were the only beneficiaries of projects and service mentioned in the meeting.
Ketiso said he would not have even known about Njibana’s reported achievements if he had not read about them in the Talk of the Town. Ketiso claimed that there were critical promises that Njibana had made before the election that were not mentioned in the speech.
“When he was campaigning he said he would establish a trust fund and would contribute 10% of his salary towards that trust fund,” Ketiso said.
According to Ketiso, if the trust fund was a success it was meant to assist less fortunate pupils in urgent matters.
In his list of achievements, Njibana said Mtyobo Primary School was one school that was assisted with sanitary pads. He further named one of the churches running a soup kitchen as receiving financial assistance.
He also said some students were assisted with bursaries, but he did not mention names or indicate the number of students helped.
Ketiso was sceptical about lack of transparency on this one, questioning the vagueness. “What criteria did they use to select those students and where were those bursaries advertised”? he asked.
Ketiso also wondered which fields of study were funded. He also pointed out that bursaries were already awarded by Ndlambe Municipality before Njibana got into office.
“I fail to understand why he credits the municipality’s bursary to himself because it was there before he became a ward councillor” he said.
Ketiso asserted that the meeting was very subjective, with the aims of silencing opposition parties who can really hold the ANC accountable.
In response, Njibana maintained there was nothing wrong with excluding opposition parties.
“I expected that from the EFF, in fact I don’t even take them seriously. The ANC has got the right to account to its constituency,” he said.
He said other political parties like the DA and EFF also call meetings of their own constituency.
“We do call public meetings and Ketiso knows that,” he said.
Commenting on the “trust fund” matter, Njibana said: “I employed three people in my office.”