Limpopo balloting after tussle for seats in council
THE ANC strode to pole position before by-elections to be held today in arguably the country’s most disorderly municipality.
On Monday, during a display that replicated a coup d’état, Tlhalefi Mashamaite, who is favoured by the ANC despite corruption allegations, recaptured the position of mayor at Mogalakwena Municipality in Limpopo.
Police swooped on council premises to install Mashamaite while incumbent mayor Malose Mabuela was out of the office.
A group of 22 ANC councillors teamed up with their opposition colleagues in April to remove Mashamaite, who had been implicated in a KPMG forensic report in the alleged misuse of R1.5 million.
The divided council replaced Mashamaite with Mabuela.
The ANC provincial executive responded in July by expelling the 22 councillors. But the defiant group, among them Mabuela, Speaker Meelba Mabusela and former mayor Esther Mothibi, remained in their positions until this week.
Mabuela has not returned to the office since Mashamaite’s military-style takeover on Monday.
Mashamaite confirmed yesterday that he had taken over the role of mayor.
While he was conducting his mayoral duties, municipal officials stood idle outside council premises.
He said they had been instructed by the municipal manager, William Kekana, who sided with the 22 expelled councillors, not to report for duty. Kekana disputed this, saying workers were kicked out of the council premises by police on Monday.
Today, the Electoral Commission will conduct by-elections in 11 wards to replace 13 of the expelled councillors.