Remember the mayor with 27 bodyguards? Now 22 councillors have been axed

2014-07-08 14:46

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The ANC in Limpopo has expelled 22 councillors who voted with opposition parties to oust former Mogalakwena mayor Tlhalefi Mashamaite.

Mashamaite had been implicated in a damning KPMG forensic audit report.

The party has so far only said it would deal with the financial reports in which Mashamaite had been implicated, but no time frame was given amid escalating pressure.

The ANC in the province has been accused of “crucifying” the councillors who were against corruption while failing to deal with Mashamaite and those implicated in massive public funds misuse.

Mashamaite at some point had 27 bodyguards, acquired using the council’s name. He was also implicated in the KPMG report for misusing public funds.

The same councillors were also suspended from the ANC earlier this year for periods ranging from 12 months to two years.

The reason they were suspended was because they were part of a council meeting that took a resolution to get KPMG to look into the council’s books and also reinstated suspended municipal manager William Kekana, whose appointment remains the subject of court action.

The councillors were this week expelled from the ANC for defying a sanction from the party’s national disciplinary committee, which ordered them to cease serving as councillors in Mogalakwena.

After their suspensions, they went on to be part of a meeting that removed Mashamaite on April 17 this year and elected a new mayor, William Mabuela.

They were thereafter accused of bringing the ANC into disrepute and prejudicing the integrity of the organisation.

The ANC’s provincial disciplinary committee chairperson, Dorah Maraba, said the 22 were expelled with immediate effect and if they chose to appeal, the “processes should be done while they are not within the structure of the ANC and Mogalakwena”.

Meanwhile, Mogalakwena mayor Mabuela, who was elected into office by the 22 now-expelled councillors, may be the next mayor to be recalled by the ANC in Limpopo.

The party’s provincial secretary, Nocks Seabi, said Mabuela was “not deployed by the ANC” and therefore they would go to Mogalakwena to “rectify” this.

“We can’t just let it go. We do thorough assessment before deployment and in this situation [Mabuela] was not deployed by the ANC,” he said.

“We will also deal with all reports, including the [ones from] KPMG, the Auditor General and others in totality.”

The party still has to deal with the upcoming by-elections in 13 wards, left vacant following the expulsion of councillors.

Meanwhile, the ANC, which had 52 councillors in the Mogalakwena council of 63, remains the majority with 30 even after the expulsion of the 22. The opposition has 11 councillors, and the DA is the main opposition party with six seats.

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