By Siyabonga Maphumulo

The Mayor of eThekwini, Obed Mlaba, has dismissed accusations levelled against him by IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi that  Mlaba is leading a drive to have his name removed from Umlazi's Mangosuthu Technikon.

Writing in the IFP's online newsletter, Buthelezi said: "The present mayor of Durban, in his capacity as a member of the Mangosuthu Technikon Board of Governors, has repeatedly made proposals that my name be removed so the technikon is not named after me."  Buthelezi said he was also aware of a proposal to rename the Mangosuthu Highway after ANC stalwart Moses Mabhida.

But the mayor distanced himself from this saying the renaming of streets and buildings in eThekwini was a process handled by the council's non-racism and non-sexism sub-committee.  Mlaba said that as mayor of eThekwini and chairman of the technikon's council, his role was to ensure development occurred at the institution and along the highway corridor.

"The only mandate I was given was at a Congress of South African Students conference that as the mayor and chairman of the technikon, I see to the extension of student residences and that is exactly what we are busy with," said Mlaba. He said that he was "not going to dignify comments that were baseless."

"Anybody including him (Buthelezi) has a right to submit proposals for renamings and that is council’s policy, what we don’t have is a policy based on love and hate, as is suggested," he said.

In the newsletter, Buthelezi said: "If removing my name gives the ruling party the satisfaction of gloating about being at the helm, they must go ahead and enjoy themselves."

He also warned that the renaming of Mangosuthu Highway could re-open old wounds between the IFP and ANC, referring to the violence between the parties which left 20 000 people dead in KZN.