ANC, Ekurhuleni coalition partner at odds over council COO's future

ANC (File)
ANC (File)

The ANC in Ekurhuleni and one of its coalition partners, the AIC, are at odds over the metro's chief operations officer Lesiba Mojapelo, with the latter calling for his immediate suspension.

AIC regional secretary Yongama Mabeng told News24 that the party had tasked its council members with tabling a motion for Mojapelo to go when a Special Investigating Unit (SIU) report is discussed in council.

The SIU report found that the COO had deviated from supply-chain policies to award record label TS Records a R4m tender to market the city council's 2010 FIFA World Cup activities.

The report, which Gauteng Premier David Makhura handed over to Ekurhuleni Mayor Mzwandile Masina last year, is expected to be on the agenda when council meets on Thursday.

Mojapelo is believed to have used his powers, then as the project manager of Ekurhuleni's 2010 World Cup Legacy Projects, to ensure former business partners Thembinkosi "TK" Ncisa and Sibusiso "DJ Sbu" Leope won the tender, without undergoing the tender process.

"He must go immediately; they suspended the others, why has he been left behind?" said Mabengu.

Ekurhuleni suspended Lusanda Madikizela, who was the head of the city's transport department, and later fired her following financial misconduct allegations. The council also suspended chief financial officer Gugu Malaza over allegations of non-disclosure of information regarding her dismissal from the SABC for "procurement and financial irregularities".

'We want to run a clean government'

"We really just want to run a clean government. We want to be a part of a clean government and where processes are followed," Mabengu told News24.

When asked about speaking to their coalition partners or directly approaching the Ekurhuleni mayor, Mabengu said "they are busy. Those people are very busy".

Some in the ANC have echoed this call, with a party member from the region who wanted to remain anonymous claiming Mojapelo was being protected by the city's elite.

A source with knowledge of the matter, but who isn't mandated to speak officially, complained that Ekurhuleni continued to act in a manner that was at odds with the party's national agenda, questioning why the leadership there couldn't seem to follow President Cyril Ramaphosa's "Thuma mina" message.

"ANC in Ekurhuleni can't always be seen to be in opposition to the president," said the ANC member, who is also a branch leader.

The mayor's spokesperson, Phakamile Mbengashe, said the SIU report, including allegations levelled against Mojapelo, would be tabled at Thursday's council meeting.

"All political parties represented in council will have the opportunity to deliberate extensively on this matter. The outcome of today's council meeting will be communicated to the public immediately after council adjourns," he said.

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