Two mayors, 22 unhappy councillors and 27 bodyguards

2014-11-09 15:00

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

A small Limpopo municipality now has two elected mayors and two elected Speakers – and both sets insist they are in charge.

The Mogalakwena Local Municipality in Mokopane got a second mayor on Thursday: an ANC man who was unseated earlier this year by members of his party in coalition with opposition councillors.

Tlhalefi Mashamaite enraged his political opponents by, among others, spending R1?million of the municipality’s money to employ 27 bodyguards for his personal protection.

Forensic auditors have recommended that criminal charges be laid against Mashamaite

for the alleged misuse of public funds.

He was replaced by William Mabuela, who was expelled by the ANC with 21 of his colleagues for working with the opposition to vote out Mashamaite.

But on Thursday, Mashamaite was reappointed at a meeting convened by Limpopo’s cooperative governance, human settlements and traditional affairs MEC Makoma Makhurupetje.

The vote had to be held at Mokopane’s Oasis Lodge after Mabuela obtained a court interdict barring Makhurupetje and Mashamaite from entering the municipal building.

On Friday, Mabuela’s supporters again locked the gates at the municipal buildings – so Mashamaite held his first meeting with his executive at the lodge.

Mabuela said after Thursday’s election that the ANC in Limpopo and the provincial government were on a “political crusade” to restore Mashamaite to his old position.

“Mogalakwena has an annual budget of R1.8?billion and our municipality is also blessed with mines – and comrades want shares in these mines,” said Mabuela.

“For them to succeed, they need a mayor and Speaker who will take orders from leaders who are businesspeople and will award contracts to their preferred companies.”

If Mabuela and his group of 21 go to court this week to overturn Mashamaite’s election, it will be yet another legal battle in what’s rapidly becoming a full-blown war.

The ANC insists the 22 have had the court application challenging their expulsion from the party dismissed.

Mabuela and his allies say the matter is still pending and that until the court rules, he remains the mayor and the others are still councillors. City Press asked for a copy of the court order upholding their expulsion, but neither the ANC in Limpopo nor the cooperative governance department had produced it at the time of going to press.

The ANC is standing by Mashamaite.

Limpopo ANC secretary Nocks Seabi said Mashamaite was “innocent until proven guilty”.

He said the party was studying the KPMG report and if “satisfied that someone is in the wrong, there will be consequences”.

Provincial cooperative governance department spokesperson Motupa Selomo said it was up to Mashamaite and his executive to remove Mabuela’s group.

“They are now in charge. They must use legal ways to remove the illegitimate councillors who were expelled by their party,” he said.

The department intends to investigate the allegations contained in the forensic report compiled by KPMG and the findings of the Auditor-General (AG) in his most recent audit.

“We would like to see a comprehensive forensic audit on financial management, procurement and provision of services and infrastructure covering the period from 2011/12 to the 2013/14 financial years.

“This therefore means an investigation of the findings of the KPMG report and the AG, and implementation of outcomes without failure,” said the department.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.