DA takes back Tlokwe

2013-07-02 21:33
(File, Sapa)

(File, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - The DA has resumed control of the Tlokwe municipality in Potchefstroom, it said on Tuesday.

"Today [Tuesday] 29 councillors from all parties including the ANC voted unanimously to return the DA’s Annette Combrink to the position of mayor," Democratic Alliance North West leader Chris Hattingh said in a statement.

"This [was] after the failure of former mayor Maphetle Maphetle to deal with damning forensic audit findings of corruption."

The African National Congress in North West reacted that it was regrettable that some its caucus members in Tlokwe had "conspired with the opposition in the irregular removal" of Maphetle".

"Our view is that the ANC councillors in Tlokwe behaved in a manner that is against the ANC principles and constitution," the party said.

"The ANC will meet with its legal representative to seek recourse on the matter, as we are of the firm view that the removal of the mayor is irregular."

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 votes.

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

The probe found that the council had irregularly bought Maphetle a R736 000, customised Mercedes-Benz. 

Disciplinary action

Maphetle had allegedly abused the 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, and in June, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said she would investigate the claims of corruption involving Maphetle.

On Tuesday, Hattingh said the DA welcomed the "united front" against corruption shown by the municipality.

"The DA is the only political force that can bring stability to the municipality, given the severe divisions within the ANC.

"We will now act immediately to deal with key delivery issues, such as housing, which is being affected by unsafe dolomite rocks beneath the surface threatening to collapse and endanger residents," he said.

Hattingh said Combrink appointed a mayoral committee within minutes of being elected - something the DA claimed the ANC had failed to do in three months of office.

- SAPA

Read more on:    thuli mandonsela  |  mahikeng  |  politics  |  tlokwe leadership battle  |  local government
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