By-election withdrawn as councillor's dismissal unresolved

2015-04-02 07:30


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East London - The ongoing conflict between the Eastern Cape's Mhlontlo Local Municipality and ANC councillor Mkhuseli Mathe resulted in Wednesday's by-election being withdrawn.

Mathe, who was the appointed councillor for Mhlontlo’s Ward 21, was removed from office by the Mhlontlo Council last year and a by-election to find his replacement was scheduled to take place on Wednesday.

However, Fikile Xasa, Eastern Cape MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), gave instructions to the Electoral Commission of SA to have the by-election withdrawn.

Due process

Cogta provincial spokesperson Mamnkeli Ngam said the MEC had done so following concerns that due process had not been followed in Mathe’s dismissal.

“The MEC was not informed of Mathe’s dismissal. We are not necessarily questioning the findings, but we are giving the municipality the opportunity to follow due process,” Ngam said.

Ngam said the MEC’s office had also extended the opportunity to Mathe to comment on the allegations against him.

On October 28 last year, the Mhlontlo Municipality announced in a statement the council had resolved in a special council meeting to relieve Mathe of his duties as a councillor.

Non-attendance at meetings

This was due to his alleged continuous non-attendance and non-response to council, which was in breach of the standard rules and orders.

Mathe had allegedly failed to attend 20 consecutive council and standing committee meetings without permission from the council, or its speaker, and could not provide reasons for his absence.

Meanwhile, IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela said Wednesday’s by-elections had taken place without a hitch before the polling stations closed at 21:00.

Results can be expected on Thursday, Bapela said.

Read more on:    anc  |  iec  |  east london  |  elections  |  politics  |  local government

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