Gravely ill mayor elected

2016-09-14 06:00


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DESPITE battling ill-health, Thandiwe Reachable has been re-elected as mayor to lead the Letsemeng Local Municipality.

The ANC councillors in the municipality have been criticised strongly for re-electing the gravely ill Reachable who had been on sick leave for several months.

Reachable is one of the 13 ANC female mayors sworn in last week in the Free State, following local government elections on 3 August.

She was apparently aided by staff to the council sitting. Reliable informed sources said she was immediately excused from the meeting after being sworn in.

Disgruntled party members within the ANC ranks said the council then proceeded to elect another ANC councillor, Melvin Rens, as the new acting mayor.

Informed sources said Reachable has been gravely ill for several months prior to the local elections and hardly campaigned for the ruling party during the local election.

Sources said Reachable even struggled to visit voting polls on the day of the elections.

“She has been seriously ill since February,” said the source.

In May the mayoral council of Letsemeng appointed an acting mayor to run the authority in the wake of Reachable’s deteriorating health condition.

During the sitting, opposition parties apparently nominated another ANC councillor for the mayoral seat, but the nomination was withdrawn – allegedly after the ANC Free State leadership instructed the councillor to do so.

Reachable approximately earns R709 000 per annum and detractors argued that the mayor should resign from work and focus on bettering her health.

William Bulwane, ANC Free State secretary, said unhappy party members should address complaints through internal processes.

Bulwane chided members who criticised Reachable’s reinstatement, further threatening that the ANC will charge members who brought the party in disrepute.

He stressed that the election of ANC mayors was the prerogative of the ruling party. Bulwane said he does not know how long Reachable has been on sick leave.

She was first elected as mayor after the 2011 local government elections and served as the Speaker of the council of Koffiefontein, Jacobsdal, Luckhoff, Oppermansgronde and Petrusburg.

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