Two ANC councillors turn mayor down
TWO ANC councillors who were chosen by the new Sol Plaatje executive mayor, Pula Thabane, to serve as chairpersons on his mayoral committee, Paul Kok and Dimakatso Chinkulu, have declined their nominations.
Kok stated that he was never consulted about his appointment.
“I have never had any discussion with Thabane regarding the position of being chairperson of the safety and security committee. I hereby distance myself from this announcement made by him. I will never accept that position and I will never undermine the ANC. I take mandate from my branch and the community. I did not contest the local government elections – the ANC did, therefore I am an agent of change for the ANC. The ANC deployed me, not Thabane,” said Kok.
Meanwhile, ANC councillor Boitumelo Stout was appointed as the chairperson of human settlement services on the mayoral committee.
Thabane pointed out that any member of the mayoral committee was free to step down, provided written notice was provided.
“The members of the mayoral committee were chosen on the basis of their knowledge and abilities; and includes a broad representation of women and experience in serving in mayoral committees.”
He explained that he did not focus on the fact that many of the members of the mayoral committee were in the process of appealing their expulsions from the ANC.
“I am not involved in the disciplinary process and have handpicked the most suitable candidates for the job.”
Thabane added that he had met with the Expanded Public Works Programme workers on Friday to encourage them to end their strike action.
“We have promised the workers that no one will be fired and have provided them with the necessary personal protective clothing and equipment. We need to, however, establish if they qualify for the salary increase in line with the grading of the municipality.”
Thabane said that he would convince councillors to convene a council meeting before November 28 in order to address pertinent matters facing the municipality. “For too long, services have stood still.”
ANC Regional Executive Committee (REC) spokesperson Tshepo Louw said that Thabane was acting without the mandate of the ANC.
“What he does, does not concern us, he is doing it at his own peril. The REC will only make a consideration if Patrick Mabilo is the mayor.”
Louw added that it was up to each councillor to decide if they wished to serve on the mayoral committee.
“Individual councillors know the processes and should let their consciences guide them.”
ANC regional secretary Webster Dichaba added that the new mayoral committee did not have their blessing.
“Two councillors informed us that they declined the nominations – they are loyal and committed members of the ANC. The REC was not consulted, we are supposed to advise who is selected. Members are deployed to the mayoral committee by the ANC. It proves that the expelled ANC councillors are uncontrollable and are a law unto themselves. The councillors need to be informed first, they should not find out in the media.”
Dichaba questioned the haste in which the mayoral committee was appointed.
“The mayor first has to be sworn in.”
He stated that the rebel councillors could not be removed until the appeal process had been finalised.
“If they lose the appeal they will be removed and replaced. We are not afraid of holding by-elections as we are confident that the ANC will retain the wards. We are prepared to oppose any court action should they be removed. If they succeed with the appeal, we will have to find a different way of dealing with them and giving them political direction. They were informed about the mandate. We never predicted that they would be so unruly.”