Freedom of association is one of the founding principles of our country’s democratic dispensation. No one has a right to threaten workers based on their political affiliations.

We are gravely concerned about the footage that is widely circulating on social media platforms which shows an office bearer from the Abaqulusi Local Municipality speaking during a funeral where they declare that the municipality will hire a person without any recruitment process and continue to say that if there are no vacancies in the municipality they will find a worker that is aligned to the African National Congress that they can fire so that the person they want to employ can take their place.

This conduct flies in the face of good governance and ethical conduct which the said councillor signed when they assumed office.

We have directed the department to prepare correspondence to the municipality which will request answers on what is unseemly conduct by a councillor, who has potentially brought the name of the municipality into disrepute.

In terms of Schedule 7 of the Municipal Structures act, the municipality is mandated to deal with allegations of misconduct against councillors deemed to be violating the code of conduct for councillors.

Some of the statements uttered in this clip border around the violation of certain basic constitutional rights and would contribute towards a hostile environment within the Abaqulusi Local Municipality where workers are threatened and dismissed based on their political affiliations and preferences.

As a department we will not hesitate to act without fear or favour in cases where the rights of workers are being infringed upon by office bearers, we also call upon the political party from which the said councillor belongs to conduct their probe into this conduct by its official.

Communities are tired of nepotism and corruption and utterances like the one made by the said councillor feed into this unfortunate narrative.

Issued by the MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Sihle Zikalala