Coun­cil­lors re­prieved

ANC dis­ci­plinary com­mi­tee ig­nored party con­sti­tu­tion when ex­pelling Tlokwe 14

Sunday World - - News - NKU­L­ULEKO NCANA

THE ANC’s national dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee has over­turned the ex­pul­sion from the party of 14 Tlokwe town coun­cil­lors .

Com­mit­tee chair­man Derek Hanekom said yes­ter­day that the party had con­tra­vened sec­tions of its con­sti­tu­tion when bring­ing charges against the coun­cil­lors.

The ANC’s North West dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee found the 14 Tlokwe coun­cil­lors guilty on four counts of mis­con­duct last month.

The coun­cil­lors were charged for vot­ing in sup­port of a mo­tion of no con­fi­dence in Tlokwe ex­ec­u­tive mayor Maphetle Maphetle in Novem­ber.

This paved the way for the DA’s An­nette Com­brink to take over the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

Maphetle had been ac­cused of cor­rup­tion by the ANC coun­cil­lors who wanted him fired.

A court bat­tle in which the DA op­posed a Jan­uary no-con­fi­dence mo­tion in Com­brink led to Maphetle be­ing re­in­stated in Fe­bru­ary.

Dur­ing her brief ten­ure, Com­brink launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion that found that the coun­cil had ir­reg­u­larly bought Maphetle a R736 000 cus­tomised Mercedes-Benz.

And Maphetle was al­leged to have mis­ap­pro­pri­ated money from the coun­cil’s Disas­ter Man­age­ment Fund and Poverty Re­lief Fund.

The rul­ing party’s North West dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee also charged the 14 coun­cil­lors with fail­ing to en­dorse the ap­point­ment of Maphetle in June.

“The national dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee up­held the pre­lim­i­nary point raised by the coun­cil­lors that they were not given the re­quired time, as pre­scribed in the ANC con­sti­tu­tion, to pre­pare their de­fence and de­cided … to hear the case afresh,” Hanekom said.

Hanekom said both the ex­pelled coun­cil­lors and the ANC were given an op­por­tu­nity to sub­mit sup­ple­men­tary ev­i­dence to the national dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee.

“The national dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee found that the ANC’s provin­cial ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee charged the coun­cil­lors some seven months af­ter the date of the al­leged mis­con­duct. This was in con­tra­ven­tion of the ANC con­sti­tu­tion, which pro­vides that charges must be in­sti­tuted within three months. Based on this pro­ce­dural ir­reg­u­lar­ity, the coun­cil­lors were found not guilty,” he said.

Hanekom added: “With re­gard to the charges re­lat­ing to the ap­point­ment of the mu­nic­i­pal man­ager, the national dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee found that the ver­sion of the coun­cil­lors was rea­son­ably pos­si­bly true, and that the provin­cial com­mit­tee erred in its find­ing that the ANC proved the guilt of the coun­cil­lors on a bal­ance of prob­a­bil­i­ties. The coun­cil­lors were found not guilty on th­ese charges.”

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