Kunene’s brief mayoral reign gives building hijackers palpitations

Kenny Kunene stepped into the hot shoes of Johannesburg mayor Kabelo Gwamanda on Sunday and Monday and quickly became a nuisance for building hijackers in the inner city.

Kunene, the MMC for safety in the City of Johannesburg, held the fort during the absence of Gwamanda, who flew out to meet Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana in Cape Town.

In his short stint as the city’s first citizen, Kunene wasted no time in springing into action and raiding the city’s hijacked buildings in Hillbrow, Berea and Windsor East in Randburg.

The deputy president of Patriotic Alliance was joined by EFF senior leader in Johannesburg Mgcini Tshwaku in his crusade against crime, demanding to know who the owners of the properties were.

While Kunene received praise from many people for having braved the cold weather to raid the notorious buildings, ActionSA chairperson in the city Funzi Ngobeni said the absence of Gwamanda was a problem. 

In a statement, Ngobeni said reports by current affairs TV show Carte Blanche that Gwamanda committed fraud when he allegedly swindled people using a “funeral scheme” were a bone of contention to chew.

“Since the allegations surfaced, Gwamanda is nowhere to be found. He was missing in action for a press conference on Saturday in which he was expected to explain himself to the residents of Joburg,” said Ngobeni.

“The result of this is Joburg being rendered leaderless once again. ActionSA believes that Gwamanda is a compromised candidate between the ANC and EFF, and lacks a coherent vision and plan for the country’s economic capital.

“As a compromised candidate, he was never going to be able to show decisive leadership the city needs, and therefore the city was always going to be on autopilot.”

Asked if ActionSA has a problem with Kunene acting as mayor of Johannesburg, Ngobeni said his party still does not understand why Kunene was chosen, because his organisation is not part of a coalition.

Kunene rose to prominence as the MMC for transport and is credited for restoring law and order at Pio-Trans, which renders a bus service for the city through the Rea Vaya.

This after he dissolved the company’s troubled board of directors led by controversial ANC member, advocate Nomazotsho Memani.


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