Tlokwe mayor in talks with axed officials

2013-07-07 14:34
Annette Combrink. (Nelius Rademan, Beeld)

Annette Combrink. (Nelius Rademan, Beeld)

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Potchefstroom - DA Tlokwe Mayor Annete Combrink has held informal talks with 14 ousted ANC councillors about co-operation between them, various newspapers reported on Sunday.

"We have had informal discussions with them," Combrink told the Sunday Independent.

"I was impressed by the attitude of these guys. I am sure there would be further discussions."

The Tlokwe municipality has been at the centre of musical mayoral chairs since 2012.

Combrink became the first Democratic Alliance mayor in the province in November last year after ANC factions in the municipality passed a motion of no confidence in ANC mayor Maphetle Maphetle.

However, Maphetle was returned as mayor in February.


This week, though, 29 councillors, including 16 ANC members, voted for Combrink to return to her position.

The North West ANC subsequently axed 14 of its councillors.

The other two councillors were "reprimanded" but allowed to stay on as they pleaded guilty at a disciplinary hearing.

Combrink told the Sunday Times that the Democratic Alliance was not offering the ousted ANC councillors anything in return for having helped unseat ANC mayor Maphetle Maphetle.

"None of us is in a position to offer anyone money or positions," she said.

She said, however, co-operation would be beneficial - even if the ousted ANC councillors stood as independent candidates in the next by-election.

"If you have independent councillors who have strong convictions about what is happening in the city council, like these people, one can look at close co-operation after the next by-elections.

One of the expelled ANC councillors, Maseapei Madiehe-Teme, told the Sunday Times that she had no links with the DA or other opposition parties.

"The DA has never helped us fight corruption. I still love the ANC, but I will not campaign for it next year."

Corruption allegations

Meanwhile, Maphetle told the Sunday Independent that the expelled councillors would not be able to win by-elections as independent candidates.

"We will show them in the by-elections who the people have faith in...People identify with the ANC, not individuals."

He also refuted allegations of corruption against him, saying: "If they have laid charges and police are investigating, why have I not been arrested? Those allegations have nothing to do with me - they want to embarrass the ANC."

When Combrink was previously in her position, her party asked for a forensic investigation into irregularities at the municipality.

The probe apparently found the council had irregularly bought Maphetle a R736 000 customised Mercedes-Benz. Maphetle was also found to have allegedly abused the municipality's disaster management fund and poverty relief fund.

The report recommended that formal disciplinary action be taken against him and other officials.

In May, the DA laid criminal charges against Maphetle. In June Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said she would investigate the claims of corruption involving Maphetle.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  annette combrink  |  maphetle maphetle  |  mahikeng  |  local government  |  politics  |  tlokwe leadership battle

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