Accusations fly in media briefing

2018-10-10 06:01
Olebogeng Leserwane, Ga-Segonyana councillor, addressing the media at a briefing on 6 September. Among others, Cllr.Mary Tongwane and Cllr Betty Boutlwane also announced their resignation from the party. Photo: Boipelo Mere

Olebogeng Leserwane, Ga-Segonyana councillor, addressing the media at a briefing on 6 September. Among others, Cllr.Mary Tongwane and Cllr Betty Boutlwane also announced their resignation from the party. Photo: Boipelo Mere

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A recent announcement made by EFF councillors, parliamentarians and several other members, carried accusations of abuse among EFF members and councillors.

Although the EFF labels the accusations as attention-seeking measures, the outgoing members threaten to submit proof on all allegations they made to the media.

Councillors of the Ga-Segonyana Local Municipality, Olebogeng Leserwane, Mary Tongwane and Betty Boutlwane, addressed the media on 6 September and announced their resignation from the party, with several other members.

The announcement was labelled as a waste of time and effort by the party, especially in the John Taolo Gaetsewe (JTG) Region.

Leserwane and his team had called the media to apologise to the residents of the Northern Cape for misleading them in the desperation of building the EFF towards the 2014 national elections.

“It pains me to come to the conclusion that the EFF, nationally and in the province, has failed as a vehicle of our people’s hopes for a balanced and deepening democracy,” Leserwane apologised.

He raised accusations of corruption, wasteful expenditure, inconsistency, factiona­lism and bullying against the party leadership.

He blamed commander in chief (CIC) Julius Malema and Floyd Shivambu for infighting over the resources of the organisation, exchanging girlfriends in the organisation, exploiting and abusing women and knowing no boundries in their ambition for party presidency of the EFF.

According to Leserwane, greed and the desire to be in powerful positions have spilled over to the provinces, including the Northern Cape, with three factions belonging to Shadrack Tlhaole and Aubrey Baartman, who both want to be premier candidates.

“The other faction is repor­tedly that of the councillors who think they are above the ground forces and tireless work. We refer to them as the councillor league,” he said.

He accused the EFF of failure to provide financial reports on the wasteful expenditure.

Leserwane trended on social media in March where he rallied, as an EFF councillor, and addressed workers’ rights, especially at private companies. In June he started intensifying campaigns under the banner of his newly established Dikwankwetla Forum for Service Delivery in the JTG Region, which removes fake and expired goods from shop shelves.

The CIC was criticised for posting his flashy lifestyle on Facebook while living large in Sandton.

“The so-called commander in chief has successfully zombified the entire war council, the central command team, the provincial command teams and the EFF student command team.

“Everything he says, goes. When you ask, you are sidelined and disciplined in the organisation. There are many comrades who have suffered at the hands of this so-called CIC,” he lashed out.

The EFF dismissed the accusations and denied being affiliated to the group.

JTG Regional chairperson Phenyo Ohentswe said Leserwane was expelled from the party in August for misconduct and bringing the party into disrepute.

That, according to Ohentswe, is also due to Leserwane’s announcement of exiting the party following failure to reach his threshold earlier this year.

He lashed back by accusing Leserwane of laziness and being noisy, as well as refusal to subject himself to the party guidelines by starting to work the ground.

He said Leserwane also failed to appeal his expulsion within his granted 20 days, resulting in him being declared a non-member.

According to Ohentswe, Leserwane should count himself very lucky if he receives a salary this month as an EFF councillor.

“The disciplinary committee has notified the municipality of his expulsion. We are not playing games, but have serious things to do in terms of deli­vering services instead of entertaining small boys,” he added.

“The financial report will be released during the 2019 National People’s Assembly by our leadership.

“We are not shaken and continue to grow as a party, especially after he left. We are aware that he was promised a lot by the opposition to corrupt the EFF. They are trying to popula­rise himself and be relevant.”

Ohentswe said the party was not moved, as they were tired of covering for Leserwane’s incompetence.

Regarding more resignations he denied any, adding that Boutlwane was regarded as a non-member two years ago after she had disappeared when she lost her ward in elections.

With regards to Tongwane’s resignation, who says she was victimised for being vocal on wrongdoing and for requesting to go on leave, he admitted to be surprised to see her in the drama.

“As far as I know, Tongwane was supposed to be an office bearer and earned a good salary until she started undermining the leadership and under-performed.

“Hers was an human resource matter which also ended in disciplinary measures being taken against her.

“All we can say to them is good luck in their next endea­vours,” Ohentswe said.

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