Residents welcome unseating of Tlokwe mayor

2013-07-08 14:38

Several residents in Potchefstroom in North West have welcomed the unseating of African National Congress mayor Maphetle Maphetle.

“What happened in the council is right,” PR Kali said at the taxi rank in the town today.

“We think there will be change if the Democratic Alliance takes over.”

He said the ANC-dominated council had done nothing to eradicate poverty in the city or create jobs.

“Our taxi ranks are flooding,” Kali said, pointing around him.

“We need change, let it be.”

DA councillor Annette Combrink was voted in as the new mayor on Tuesday, the second time since November, unseating Maphetle.

DA North West leader Chris Hattingh said at the time that 29 councillors of all parties, including the ANC, unanimously voted on Tuesday to return Combrink to the position of mayor.

On Wednesday, the North West ANC’s provincial disciplinary committee said its 14 councillors who voted to unseat Maphetle were expelled from the party.

They would also be removed as Tlokwe councillors.

TB Masibi said he was expecting “huge change” now that the DA had taken over the municipality.

“We expect a lot of change from the DA,” he said. “They will combat crime and corruption.”

While the DA was in charge last year, it requested a forensic investigation into irregularities at the municipality.

The probe found that the council had irregularly bought Maphetle a R736 000 customised Mercedes-Benz. Maphetle had also allegedly abused the disaster management fund and the poverty relief fund.

The report recommended that formal disciplinary action be taken against him and other officials.

In May, the DA laid criminal charges against Maphetle, and in June, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said she would investigate the claims of corruption involving Maphetle.

Both Masibi and Kali complained about corruption and the lack of jobs.

Many of the fruit and vegetable vendors at the Potchefstoom taxi rank were from Lesotho.

Masibi said he used to have a shop but could not compete with the foreigners and the ANC had done nothing to create jobs for locals.

A woman who did not want to be named said she “felt good” about the DA taking over.

“I am happy ... (The ANC) is not for me,” she said.

Rethabile Sechele said he did not have a problem with the DA taking over.

“As long as they are delivering the services I deserve ... It’s okay,” he said.

Sina Fingwane said she did not know about what happened at the municipality, but was unhappy with what the ANC had done in the town.

“There has been no change (under the ANC),” she said, speaking in Afrikaans.

“They just come here and say ‘vote’ but they don’t do anything.” She said she would not vote again for the ANC, but she did not know of an alternative.

The ANC was holding a provincial working committee meeting in Potchefstroom on Monday.

The provincial leadership and national executive committee deployees to the province were expected to do a walkabout at the taxi rank and the Riverside Mall later in the day.

They were also expected to go on a door-to-door campaign in all the wards.

By-elections were expected to be held in the Tlokwe municipality soon.

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