ANC removes three of its PR councillors after election of Sol Plaatje mayor postponed

ANC flag. (Thulani Mbele, Gallo Images, Sowetan, file)
ANC flag. (Thulani Mbele, Gallo Images, Sowetan, file)

The ANC in the Northern Cape says it is "livid" that three of its former proportional representation councillors (PR councillors) attempted to vote with the opposition during a council meeting where a new mayor for the Sol Plaatjie Municipality in Kimberley was expected to be elected on Friday. 

Things took a drastic turn as elections got underway with the three PR councillors and eight ANC ward councillors attempting to vote with opposition parties. 

"We are disappointed as the organisation because we did not expect our councillors to behave in that way. We are livid to have some of our councillors cooperating with the opposition to defeat the ANC in that particular municipality," ANC provincial secretary Deshi Ngxanga told News24 on Saturday.   

Ngxanga added that councillors should understand that they were serving under the ANC and that from time to time the party would give [them] mandates of what needed to happen in government. 

"And on this one, we are quite clear that comrade Patrick Mabilo should be elected as Executive Mayor but we had a couple of councillors who decided not to obey that instruction," he said.

Ngxanga added that the councillors previously made excuses saying they were siding with the community, demanding that the municipal manager and CFO be suspended and that then Mayor Mangaliso Matika resign. 

He said the party had implemented those demands and were now feeling undermined by the councillors.

"We don’t know why they are shifting the goal post every time in that particular municipality," Ngxanga said.

The election was eventually postponed. 

Ngxanga added that the councillors had been given enough time to express their demands. He added that this time, there would be no second chances as the party was of the opinion that the PR councillors no longer represented the interest of the ANC at the council.

"Hence the decision yesterday to remove three of the PR councilors. I have communicated with the REC and they are no longer councillors," he said. 

He added that the ANC was also in the process of finalising the disciplinary hearings of the remaining eight councillors who had collaborated with the opposition.

"The constitution of the ANC is quite clear that you don’t work with the opposition in a manner that seeks to undermine the aims and objectives of the ANC and quite clearly that is what they did and so they will be subjected to disciplinary processes," Ngxanga said.

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