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Acting eThekwini mayor Fawzia Peer back at work after ‘poison’ scare

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eThekwini’s acting mayor, Fawzia Peer, was back at work on Friday following a scare over “poisoned” water, according to a municipality tweet.

“We are glad to be joined by Acting Mayor Fawzia Peer who will be wrapping up the fruitful meeting,” tweeted @eThekwiniM.

“Addressing the poison incident, she confirmed that she is doing well and is thankful for the public’s concern and well wishes.”

Peer was attending a meeting of the African Forum for Urban Security (AFUS), which commissioned research on the status of women’s safety in different countries.

It also develops “exchange and collaborations mechanisms between the various municipal safer cities coordinating teams”.

Peer’s arrival followed dramatic scenes on Thursday, after two councillors tweeted that Speaker William Lekgoa Mapena had announced that there was paraffin in one of the water bottles handed out during the meeting.

Peer reportedly left “abruptly”, covering her mouth.

The municipality released a statement on Thursday, denying allegations that Peer had been “poisoned”. It said that, as a precaution, she had gone to a doctor for a check-up.

“The water she consumed has been sent to the laboratory for testing. We will wait for the results from the laboratory, as well as her doctor’s findings, before making any conclusion on the matter,” the council stated.

The council was expected to release a statement later on Friday, according to a spokesperson.

It is still unclear what transpired during the meeting, or whether the incident was an accident or deliberate.

Police spokesperson Colonel Thulani Zwane said: “We know nothing about it.”

Earlier on Thursday, the council was delayed after ANC councillors allegedly wanted the city manager, Sipho Nzuza, to exit the meeting.

An altercation ensued, with Nzuza’s security detail having to step in to protect him.

Mayor Zandile Gumede has been put on special leave by the ANC, the party she represents, while accusations of corruption related to a Durban Solid Waste Tender worth over R200m are probed.

In the meantime, Peer has also had to deal with other pressing matters such as whether money owed by the Department of Public Works to the council should be written off, according to IOL.

[source: News24]
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