Local election woes continue in Rustenburg

2016-10-09 06:27

(Erin Bates)

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Barely a week after he was forced to resign as the mayor of the Rustenburg municipality, Mpho Khunou was re-elected on Friday amid an outcry from opposition parties that the process was fraught with irregularities.

The Forum 4 Service Delivery (F4SD) vowed to take the matter to court to nullify Khunou’s election, as well as those of single whip Amos Mataboge and speaker Sheila Mabale-Huma, who were also reinstated unopposed on Friday.

The trio had resigned in the wake of a legal challenge by the DA, which also sought to invalidate their election to these positions in August after the local government elections. The party was questioning the authority of the presiding officer at the time of their election.

Mabale-Huma was the first to resign in a strategic move by the ANC to avoid a legal battle with the DA.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and F4SD, who respectively have 24 and four seats in the council, boycotted the special council meeting on Friday.

However, the F4SD is now citing technicalities in its bid to strip the three of their positions.

The party said it would challenge the role played by acting municipal manager Victor Makona, whose contract with the municipality ended in September.

It is now understood that Makona’s contract has since been extended, but the F4SD said there was no council resolution to that effect.

“We [the F4SD] were not part of the council meeting that was called by [Makona], whose contract was extended illegally,” said party spokesperson Bosa Ledwaba.

“We want the court to rectify the matter and order them to pay back the salaries they earned while occupying those positions illegally,” he said.

Service delivery

Khunou said he was hoping everyone’s focus was going to return to service delivery rather than fighting in the council.

He said the initial court challenge by the DA helped the council to ensure that there were no questions around the legitimacy of the people in these positions.

The EFF, who also snubbed Friday’s council meeting, said it would support F4SD in its legal bid.

“We did not attend the meeting because it was called without following proper procedures. The municipal manager also has no role to play because he has no employment contract with the municipality,” said EFF North West leader Betty Diale.

The DA in Rustenburg has broken ranks with other opposition partners, saying it was now happy with the re-run of elections.

“According to us, everything was above board this time around. We’re happy and should now get back to serving our communities,” said DA caucus leader Gert du Plessis.

Read more on:    forum 4 service delivery  |  mpho khunou  |  mafikeng  |  politics  |  local elections 2016

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