ANC in Limpopo pondering report into volatile situation in Mogalakwena

Andrina Matsemela, Mogalakwena municipality mayor.
Andrina Matsemela, Mogalakwena municipality mayor.

The ANC in Limpopo is pondering a report into the volatile political situation in Mogalakwena, where two local prominent party officials were shot dead in July this year.

The report, which the ANC provincial spokesperson Donald Selamolela confirmed existed, was drafted after the party's national deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte visited the province as political tension continue to mount in the region.

"The report will be dealt with by the PEC [provincial executive committee] on the way forward," Selamolela said.

He denied the report had caused ructions within the PEC in which members have called for the removal of the municipal political management team and disbandment of the party's Waterburg region.

The situation came to a head last week when different party structures almost clashed during another two-day shutdown of the CBD to demand the removal of the municipal political leadership including the mayor, Andrina Matsimela.

The Mogalakwena ANC sub-regional structure organised a counter-march against the shutdown in support and rubber bullets flew in the CBD.

Waterburg regional committee member Jabu Mashamaite was suspended as the acting director of the municipal corporate services.

Mashamaite believed he was being used as a "sacrificial lamb" because he had called for the removal of the municipal political leadership during a meeting with Duarte.

"The investigation must take place in this municipality so that our names can be cleared. The municipality has suffered losses - millions and millions of rand. So I think the way to go will be the forensic investigation," he said.

The municipality is the richest in the Waterburg region of Limpopo.

According to the Auditor-General's 2017/2018 report, the entity incurred more than R1.1bn in unauthorised expenditure.

It further incurred R373m and R2.6m in irregular and fruitless expenditures, respectively, in the same year.

It is believed the municipality was being used as a "milk cow" by senior regional and provincial ANC officials.

Sources told News24 some senior party officials were irregularly benefiting from the municipality by instructing municipal officials "to do certain business transactions under the guise that it is a political instruction".

Records, which News24 have seen, show a company belonging to one current MEC, who also sits on the party's committee on governance, benefited to the tune of more than R12m in tenders from the municipality in 2018.

However, Mogalakwena's sub-regional secretary, Elias Phoko who organized the counter-march last week, believed the tension in the region was created by "disgruntled members", adding the municipality was "doing very well".

"They lost positions in the conferences. This is the reason why they are fighting. They are fighting for positions and nothing else," Phoko said.  

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