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'The EFF is threatening me' – Rustenburg councillor

2016-08-23 09:02
EFF and ANC supporters clash
EFF and ANC supporters clash while leaving the Rustenburg hall after the first council sitting. Police had to separate the two groups. (Lizeka Tandwa/News24)

Johannesburg – Botho Community Movement (BCM) founder Ofentse Kombe has accused the EFF in Rustenburg of first offering him a R3m bribe and then threatening him after he sided with the ANC.

"Their members are explicitly threatening me. We decided we are not going to be part of this coalition that has put us under a bus," he told News24 on Monday.

Kombe formed a coalition with the EFF last week, but then changed his mind. He holds the BCM’s only seat in the Rustenburg municipality’s council.

During coalition talks with the EFF, the party allegedly offered him R3m to vote with it, he said. During voting in the first council sitting in Rustenburg on Friday, he voted with the EFF and other opposition parties.

However, he was soon sidelined.

"They were dictating everything and I was questioning them. They should look closely at themselves. Why, with 24 council seats, do you not want to lead the municipality? Why are you so aggrieved by the outcome of the voting? Was their motive really for the good of the community? Those are the questions I asked."

He then went into a coalition with the ANC.

EFF secretary-general Godrich Gardee accused Kombe of selling out after the results of Friday’s council vote were made public.

Marred by violence

The ANC retained the Rustenburg council after its mayoral candidate, Mpho Khunou, was re-elected. The move shocked opposition parties as they had agreed to vote against the ANC.

Three opposition councillors voted with the ANC to give it a majority of 46 votes, against the 43 combined opposition votes for Forum 4 Service Delivery mayoral nominee, Rocky Malebane-Metsing.

The election was marred by violence between ANC and EFF supporters outside the venue. EFF councillors walked out shortly after the results were announced.

Kombe said the EFF lost to the ANC in Rustenburg because of its own disgruntled members.

"They make it seem like it was one vote that changed everything. They fail to look within their own party. Their own disgruntled members had been gunning for mayoral position, prior to their leader Julius Malema instructing them otherwise. This was not their decision. This was a decision imposed on them," he said.

EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi rejected Kombe’s allegations of bribery and threats.

"The most important thing we wanted was to move the public purse out of the hands of the ANC. There are no threats given to anybody. He must just have the audacity to accept his hypocritical stance of promising the opposition one thing and doing the other," he said.

Kombe said he would open a case with police.

- Find everything you need to know about the 2016 Local Government Elections at our News24 Elections site, including the latest news and detailed, interactive maps for how South Africa has voted over the past 3 elections, or download the app for iOS and Android.

Read more on: eff  |  mahikeng  |  local elections 2016  |  politics

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