Embattled Mokopane mayor in hiding, fearing for life - report

2019-08-05 10:39
Andrina Matsemela.

Andrina Matsemela. (Supplied)

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The mayor of the Mogalakwena municipality in Mokopane, Limpopo, is living in fear of her life following ongoing protests by residents and calls for her to resign, Netwerk24 reported.

Andrina Matsemela is reportedly hiding in an undisclosed location.

Most shops in Mokopane were reportedly closed on Thursday and Friday as hundreds of angry residents took to the streets.

Residents gathered outside the Mokopane police station on Thursday to hand over a memorandum and demand the arrest of those who murdered two ANC members, News24 reported.

Valtyn Kekana and Ralph Kanyane were murdered on July 24. Their murders are believed to be part of the continuous infighting which has claimed several ANC members' lives in the past 12 months.

Kekana, 54, who was the chairperson of the municipal public accounts committee in the Mogalakwena municipality, and Kanyane, 32, who was the party's branch secretary in the region, were seated in a car when a gun-wielding man approached them, according to police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo.

The man opened fire before fleeing the scene on foot.

Mojapelo said a high-level task team was investigating the murders.

Politically motivated

The party's provincial spokesperson Donald Selamolela hinted that the shooting may be politically motivated.

"Whilst we do not know, for now, the motive for these murders as the police are still investigating, we have observed in the past 12 months a shocking increase in the shooting and killing of our members, making it difficult for us not to believe the political nature of the motives," Selamolela said.

He said the party was worried about the trend and would become more active in protecting its members.

Speakers at Kekana's memorial service called for Matsemela's immediate resignation, Sowetan reported. 

The service at Moshate, Mokopane, on August 1 was reportedly delayed after angry residents took to the streets, demanding Matsemela's resignation.

Locals in Mokopane believe that Kekana and Kanyane were casualties of the ongoing infighting in the municipality, News24 reported.

It is understood that Kekana was in the process of investigating alleged corruption in the municipality. He apparently requested a forensic report from the finance department on Tuesday.

The DA in Limpopo also believes Kekana and Kanyane were killed because they were at the forefront of exposing corruption in the municipality.

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Read more on:    anc  |  andrina matsemela  |  polokwane

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