Ditsobotla municipality denies claims it barred administrator from entering its premises

2019-07-04 21:24
North West Premier Job Mokgoro. (Gallo Images, file)

North West Premier Job Mokgoro. (Gallo Images, file)

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The Ditsobotla Local Municipality that sits in Lichtenburg, North West, has denied claims it is deliberately ignoring a Section 139(1) intervention and that it barred an administrator from entering municipal premises.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the municipality's spokesperson, Pius Batsile, said it refutes such assertions.

"The municipality noted with great concern also the allegation that the incumbent administrator has been barred from entering municipal premises. This allegation is untrue and divisive in nature.

"The incumbent has full access and always had access to municipal premises, he has even chosen an office for himself," Batsile added.

This comes after the office of the North West premier, Job Mokgoro, said earlier this week a meeting had been held on Tuesday between stakeholders and himself in Mahikeng regarding the status of an intervention in the municipality.

During this meeting it was revealed that the municipality was deliberately ignoring the implementation of a Section 139(1)(b) intervention, News24 earlier reported.

"It was brought to the premier's attention that the Ditsobotla Local Municipality, which allegedly barred the administrator from entering municipal premises and executing his duties, has appointed a municipal manager without the consent and participation of the administrator in that process and the council is deliberately ignoring the implementation of the Section 139(1)(b) intervention," Mokgoro's spokesperson, Vuyisile Ngesi, said in a statement at the time.

ALSO READ: Ditsobotla Municipality in the North West placed under administration

As a result, Mokgoro took a number of decisions to deal with the grievances placed before him by stakeholders such as reinstating the administrator and setting aside any decisions made when the administrator was not present.

"Whilst acknowledging the premier's interaction with stakeholders, [the] municipality believes that the assertions are premature, impulsive, biased and to a certain extent not in good spirit in terms of intergovernmental relations. 

"The municipality believes that as part of the stakeholders in the matter, it could have been in good spirit in terms of intergovernmental relations for the premier to interact with the reports from council and the administrator on the subject matter," Batsile said.

He added that the council had welcomed the intervention in terms of Section 139(1)(b) of the Constitution since the announcement that it was placed under administration and hoped to continue working with the provincial government to resolve local government issues.

"The office of the premier should consider strengthening intergovernmental relation mechanisms and uphold its principles," Batsile concluded.

In response to the municipality's claims, Ngesi told News24 that Mokgoro had attempted to engage with the council on Thursday but said the meeting had to be abandoned after it got "rowdy".

Mokgoro was accompanied by Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Gordon Kegakilwe.

"Fifteen minutes into the meeting, it degenerated as councillors became rowdy and the meeting had to be abandoned.

"The councillors steadfastly rejected the Section 139(1)(b) intervention; which is contrary to the contents of the statement released by the municipality," Ngesi explained.

The premier and the executive committee would await a report with recommendations from Kegakilwe on the decision of the provincial government with regards to the future of the municipality, he said.

Read more on:    north west province  |  municipal council
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