Duarte: Tlokwe exposed undue influences

2013-05-09 18:33
Jessie Duarte (Picture: Sapa)

Jessie Duarte (Picture: Sapa)

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Johannesburg - A vote of no-confidence in Tlokwe Mayor Maphetle Maphetle and his subsequent return to the position exposed a system of undue influence in the municipality, ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte has said.

"I think the Tlokwe situation [in the North West] exposed a system of undue influence by individuals in the private sector as well as in the African National Congress [ANC] on the municipality itself," she said in an interview with Sapa this week.

"Tlokwe was, I would say, the worst [municipality]. I don't think any other... compares to what happened in Tlokwe."

Maphetle was re-instated as mayor in February.

ANC factions at the municipality passed a motion of no confidence in him in November 2012.

He was replaced by Annette Combrink - the first DA mayor in the province - when she defeated ANC candidate Lucky Tsagae by 20 votes to 19.

Duarte said the media had a tendency to exaggerate small problems in municipalities as though they were general problems.

"This country has 258 local municipalities, 23 of them are in trouble," she said.

"It's a small number in the bigger scheme of things, and it's very hard for us to say that to you guys [the media] because your tendency is to exaggerate, because you must have a popular headline otherwise your newspapers won't sell."

Violence in the party

The North West had seen an increase in violence between members, but the planned killings of ANC members did not reflect a tendency of violence in the party, said Duarte.

"It is not one particular tendency that we can lay our fingers on. You can't say that there is a tendency of ANC people killing themselves," she said.

"It's not an attack on the ANC. That is one tendency I can tell you that it is not."

She said violence between members in the North West and KwaZulu-Natal was different from "the kind of violence that we saw in the 80s or early 90s".

"It doesn't matter who you are, but if you sit down to plan to kill another human being, then you have lost your soul."

She said the motives behind the killings ranged from people raising issues about corruption and contesting for positions, to simply "pure criminal activity".

Accused of murder

In March, six of eight people accused of murdering ANC North West official Obuti Chika were granted bail by the Klerksdorp Magistrate's Court.

North West provincial ANC Youth League chairperson Papiki Baboile, ward secretary Paul Molomonyane, councillor Itumeleng Molebatsi, municipal worker William Malefo, Jeffrey Letuka, Sihlangu Sekhakhane, taxi driver Kgotso Kali, and North West suspended local government MEC China Dodovu were implicated in the crime.

Chika, 33, was shot at point-blank range in the driveway of his Klerksdorp home on 14 December. He died in a local hospital.

Last Friday, the ANC said KwaZulu-Natal ANC member Khethiwe Radebe was shot and wounded in Wembezi township, Umtshezi.

Three ANC members were attacked in the same township, in central KwaZulu-Natal, on 24 April.

The three survived the shooting.

However one, who was pregnant at the time, lost her unborn child.

In March, Sibusiso Majola, chairperson of an ANC branch in Umtshezi, was killed, and in August last year, Jimmy Lembede, a ward councillor in the municipality, was killed and his 11-year-old son assaulted.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  maphetle maphetle  |  jessie duarte  |  obuti chika  |  annette combrink  |  mahikeng  |  corruption  |  politics  |  tlokwe leadership battle

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