Nkomazi Mayor Admits Illegal Electricity Use

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Nkomazi Mayor Admits Illegal Electricity Use

In a startling revelation, the mayor of Nkomazi local municipality in Mpumalanga,
Phindile Magagula, has admitted to benefiting from illegally connected electricity at her
residence in Aniva. This admission came during an interview on radio station
Ligwagwala FM, where Magagula stated, “Aniva…started in 2017 and I have a stand
there but I don’t live in the house. This is politically motivated because I was not the only
one who used the electricity.”

The opposition parties, the DA and EFF, wasted no time in opening criminal cases
against the mayor at the Schoemansdal police station earlier this week. Magagula
claimed that the community in Aniva had contributed R40,000 for the installation of
electricity years ago, adding, “We were not advised to apply for a transformer [directly
from Eskom]. The electricity was connected in 2021. I was not even a mayor and I didn’t
know I would be a mayor at the time.”

The municipality’s spokesperson, Cyril Ripinga, stated that they were not in a position to
respond to the allegations or indicate any potential disciplinary measures, as they were
unaware of any formal complaint against the mayor. “We saw the media releases but
are not aware of a formal complaint against her. This happened in her personal
capacity. We do not know what is happening at her house. We have not received any
official complaint from opposition parties. We can [proceed] only once they follow the
procedure,” Ripinga said.

The DA’s Nkomazi councillor, Nhlonipho Dlamini, strongly condemned the mayor’s
actions, stating, “The DA finds the mayor’s conduct very dishonourable and unethical.
For years, the municipality has been battling with cable theft without any tangible
solution.” Dlamini further added, “This explains why the municipality has been reluctant
to find a long-term solution to cable theft, though replacing stolen cables costs millions
of unbudgeted rand.”

Expressing concern over the situation in Aniva, where residents are without electricity
while the mayor is allegedly illegally connected, Dlamini remarked, “One would expect
the municipality’s executive mayor to speak against this and try to eliminate it. But
ironically the mayor is allegedly championing this illegal conduct. It is an indication that
ANC leaders are not in power to serve residents.”

As the allegations against Mayor Magagula continue to unfold, questions arise about
the integrity of elected officials and their commitment to upholding the law and serving
the best interests of their constituents.