DA to help fund rogue councillors after ruling party mayor was ousted
The DA will help fund the by-elections campaigns of rebel councillors who turned on the ANC in Tlokwe to oust the governing party’s mayor this week, City Press has learnt.
Annette Combrink was re-elected as mayor on Tuesday, deposing the ANC’s Maphetle Maphetle.
Tomorrow, the ANC will try to “talk sense” to Combrink and convince her that the meeting during which she was reappointed was illegal, Maphetle told City Press. If he fails, by-elections will be held in Potchefstroom – and the ANC knows it could lose.
Her return to the mayor’s seat – which she occupied from November until being ousted by the ANC in February – was largely thanks to the ANC’s own councillors.
A group of 16 ANC councillors was threatened with expulsion after passing a motion of no confidence, with opposition parties, against Maphetle in November. The ANC’s NEC intervened and Maphetle was reinstated three months later.
But when the councillors discovered the ANC was planning to discipline them, despite promising not to do so, they turned on the party and this week booted Maphetle out again. Now 14 of the councillors have been axed by the ANC and have turned on the party. Nine of them are likely to stand as independent candidates in future by-elections.
There were suggestions this week that at least some of the rebel councillors might associate themselves with former ANC Youth League leader
Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters but that the DA would help fund their by-election posters to encourage them to side with the opposition. “Posters are very expensive and we can help,” a DA councillor said.
Only one thing is certain: they are determined to topple the ANC in Tlokwe and throughout North West.
The ANC’s former chief whip in Tlokwe, David Kham, who masterminded Maphetle’s initial ousting and was temporarily suspended from the party as a result, said: “We will campaign against the ANC and we will make sure they don’t win this province (North West).”
Nine of the 14 are ward councillors elected to their positions directly, while five were proportional representation councillors and can be replaced by the party from its list.
Maphetle told City Press the ANC’s national leadership would not be getting involved in the fight for Tlokwe yet. Instead, he’ll “tell Combrink to her face” that this week’s meeting was illegal.
“If you are ethical and moral, you must know a meeting has to be called by the Speaker and get cancelled by the Speaker,” he insisted during an interview with City Press.
The DA though says the meeting’s cancellation by SMS the day before was invalid.
On Friday, the party served legal papers on Maphetle to force him to vacate the mayor’s office. Combrink has not been able to move back in because he refuses to leave.
Maphetle said the DA “stole power because they exploited the ignorance of some of my colleagues”.
Maphetle: the allegations
Maphetle Maphetle, who was ousted as Tlokwe’s mayor for a second time this week, faces a raft of allegations involving fraud, corruption and money laundering.
DA North West leader Chris Hattingh opened a case with the police in May based on a forensic report commissioned by the council in February. Maphetle rubbished the report by Nexus Forensic Services, but said he would resign if he was criminally charged. The report, focusing on six of the 16 allegations made by Hattingh, recommends action against Maphetle on several issues:
» Maphetle played a “central role” in facilitating a payment of R300 000 from the Poverty Alleviation Fund to the Clover Aardklop festival, a cultural event, in 2011. Police should investigate Maphetle for theft and also possible corruption in this transaction.
Nexus found council officials instructed Aardklop to pay the money to Eric Mothibedi from the Bonang Conference Centre, who then referred service providers back to the organisers for payment. Mothibedi, a friend of Maphetle, apparently didn’t use any of the money from the council for the festival.
» Maphetle did not comply with prescriptions for using funds from the 2010 World Cup Fund vote to allegedly benefit Mothibedi. Nexus said the council should institute disciplinary steps against him for using “his position or privileges for private gain to improperly benefit another person”.
» Procedure was not followed in acquiring a R737 000 Mercedes-Benz E350 for Maphetle, which means this was irregular expenditure and steps should be taken against a top official in the mayor’s office, Errol Temanie.
Powered by WPeMatico