Mogale City official asks Mashatile to intervene

2016-12-22 15:22
Paul Mashatile (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

Paul Mashatile (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

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Johannesburg - Mogale City's acting municipal manager has appealed to the Gauteng provincial government to intervene in the embattled municipality, claiming that the new mayor will lead it to dysfunction.

"It is my expert opinion that the road the executive mayor is taking would lead to a breakdown of the municipality," acting municipal manager Abe Mbulawa said in a letter addressed to MEC of co-operative governance Paul Mashatile.

The letter asks Mashatile to invoke section 139(a) of the Constitution. 

This section makes provision for an intervention by the MEC into municipal matters when it has been determined the local body is not fulfilling its obligations.

Mbulawa accuses newly-elected Mayor Michael Holenstein of committing the municipality to "reckless financial expenditure running into millions of rands at a time the municipality is under fiscal stress".

Furthermore, Holenstein is criticised in the letter for making "sweeping and defamatory assertions" in the media about alleged irregularities at the municipality.

Fraud allegations

"He has undermined the laws and regulations of the country, disregarded council resolutions and policies and trampled on the dignity of the municipal staff."

In the letter to the MEC Holenstein is also accused of fraud.

Previously, Holenstein, who was elected as mayor on December 7, told Independent Newspapers that his plans to turn around the municipality were being sabotaged by certain officials.

The ANC had been in charge of the municipality since 1994.

It lost control of it to a coalition of opposition parties in the August 3 local government elections.

The DA's Holenstein now holds the mayoral position.  He was elected after the previous DA mayor resigned due to ill health.

Since the shift in power, there have been a number of clashes between the two parties' representatives at municipal level.

DA 'not fazed'

Earlier this month, the mayor had to be led to safety after employees protested demanding bonuses. 

The DA, however, said these could not be paid as the previous ANC administration has bankrupted the municipality.

In particular, the two parties have been at loggerheads over the appointment of the acting municipal manager.

DA Gauteng spokesperson John Moodey on Thursday dismissed the contents of the letter.

"It's once again an ANC ploy to make Mogale City ungovernable," he said.

"We are not fazed by it. Under these very trying circumstances, the mayor and his team are doing very well."

Moodey said the party would await the MEC's response before any further action.

Read more on:    paul mashatile  |  johannesburg  |  politics

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