ANC disciplinary commitee ignored party constitution when expelling Tlokwe 14
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.”