Tatane’s comrades disagree over ‘job-for-pals’ letter

2011-07-21 14:32

A verbal battle has broken out between former colleagues in the Meqheleng Concerned Citizens (MCC) movement, which led service delivery protests in Ficksburg earlier this year.

This comes after a damning report commissioned by Mamiki Qabathe, the Free State MEC for cooperative governance, was presented to the Setsoto local municipality last Thursday – exposing nepotism, fraud, theft and maladministration.

The municipality subsequently made public a letter purportedly written by the MCC in which it demanded getting people aligned to the movement into municipal employment during the height of the service-delivery protests in March.

Excellent Matlala, a founding member of the movement who has since resigned from it, confirms knowledge of the letter.

He claimed MCC members have a sinister agenda of removing council officials from their positions and replacing them with people of their choice – which he said he opposed.

“Community members who didn’t like my position started threatening me and I then decided to leave,” Matlala said.

He resigned from the MCC on March 31 and has not been active in the movement since.

Matlala said the letter written to council was “a friendly proposal to allow our people of Ficksburg to be employed by the council”. Matlala’s name appears on the letter written to the council.

“The council employed people from outside the municipality and MCC agreed that those from the township should be allowed to fill the advertised posts in the Setsoto municipal council,” Matlala said.

Tseliso Mpekoa, the MCC’s spokesperson, said the allegations against the MCC were untrue, malicious and intended to tarnish their name.

The letter was addressed to Thato Khoase, the municipality’s accounting officer at the time, and stated that “it would be appropriate if you, as the accounting officer, would allow 18 of our people the opportunity to be employed at Setsoto (in vacant positions)”.

Sam Motsheare, an executive member of the MCC, also denied claims that the movement had written the letter to secure employment for their comrades.

“All of us at MCC are having permanent jobs and it is only a few that do not,” Motsheare said.

He said that the community members are shocked about allegations of a letter.

“Instead of giving us credit for the protests which resulted in the commission investigating the municipality, they now want to tarnish our name,” he said.

Matlala, who admitted to a fall-out with MCC members, said he feared for his safety.

“I will be injured by people because of things the MCC speaks about me,” he said.

He also alleges that some MCC members charged that he was paid R2 million by the municipality in order to speak badly of them – which he denies.
The Setsoto local municipality has a copy of the contested letter.

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