Mahikeng - The ANC in the North West has welcomed the axing of 14 of its councillors from the Tlokwe municipality after they attempted to unseat their mayor Maphetle Maphetle, the party said in a statement on Thursday.
The decision to expel the group was made in a provincial disciplinary committee (PDC) meeting held on Wednesday.
"As the ANC, we believe the outcome of this disciplinary hearing will serve as a learning curve to comrades who seek to undermine organisational processes and the ANC," said the party's acting provincial secretary Gordon Kegakilwe.
"The ANC has adopted a zero tolerance to ill-discipline from its members and will do everything possible to restore the dignity, image and integrity of the [party]."
The ANC claimed that 16 of its councillors participated in an irregular council meeting where they voted for Maphetle's unseating.
This was the second attempt to remove him.
In November, ANC factions in the municipality passed a motion of no confidence in Maphetle.
He was replaced by Annette 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.
In the latest attempt to oust him, 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.
Kegakilwe said the actions of the ANC members were contrary to the party's code of conduct.
The PDC also said that it was 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 16 councillors were scheduled to face a disciplinary hearing on Wednesday, but only two of them attended the meeting.
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 not be expelled.
The other 14, who did not arrive for the meeting, were expelled.
Kegakilwe said their positions would be filled in due course.
They were, however, allowed to appeal their expulsions to the national disciplinary committee of appeal.
Kegakilwe called for ANC members in Tlokwe to respect the decision of the PDC.
The DA has previously called for a forensic investigation into irregularities at the Tlokwe municipality.
A 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.