14 ANC Tlokwe councillors expelled

2013-07-03 21:54
ANC supporters in Tlokwe. (Linda de Beer, Beeld)

ANC supporters in Tlokwe. (Linda de Beer, Beeld)

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Johannesburg - Fourteen ANC councillors, who voted to unseat Tlokwe mayor Maphetle Maphetle, were expelled from the party on Wednesday, its North West provincial disciplinary committee (PDC) said.

The African National Congress councillors were found guilty of "acting contrary to the directives" of the party and violating the ANC constitution, the PDC said in a statement.

"Expulsion of the 14 comrades... was found suitable under the given circumstances and the continuing disrespect by the comrades," it said.

Maphetle was unseated for a second time on Tuesday.

Democratic Alliance Councillor Annette Combrink was voted in as the new mayor.

DA North West leader Chris Hattingh said 29 councillors from all parties, including the ANC, had unanimously voted to return Combrink to the position of mayor.

The ANC PDC said 16 councillors faced a disciplinary hearing on Wednesday.

However, only two attended the hearing. The two, who pleaded guilty, were "reprimanded" by the PDC and it was decided that they would be provided with "guidance" by the party and would not be expelled.

The other 14, who did not arrive for the hearing, were expelled.

Conduct unauthorised

"Members were supposed to have known that such conduct was not authorised either by the PWC [provincial working committee] or NWC [national working committee] of the ANC.

"It is common practice and culture in the ANC that the mayoral appointments and removal thereof are exclusive domain of the higher structures [of the party]...," the PDC said.

It said the expelled members would be removed as Tlokwe councillors.

They were allowed to appeal against their expulsions to the national disciplinary committee of appeal.

In November, ANC factions in the municipality passed a motion of no confidence in Maphetle.

He was replaced by Combrink - the first DA mayor in the province - when she defeated ANC candidate Lucky Tsagae by 20 votes to 19.

However, Maphetle was returned as mayor in February, when he won by 31 votes to Combrink's 21.

While the DA was in charge, it asked for a forensic investigation into irregularities at the municipality.

This probe found the council had irregularly bought Maphetle a R736 000 customised Mercedes-Benz. Maphetle was also found to have allegedly abused the municipality's disaster management fund and 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. In June Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said she would investigate the claims of corruption involving Maphetle.

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