MABILO IS NEW MAYOR

Diamond Fields Advertiser - - NEWS - SANDI KWON HOO CHIEF RE­PORTER

THE CITY has an­other new mayor, Patrick Mabilo, who was elected as Sol Plaatje ex­ec­u­tive mayor dur­ing a spe­cial coun­cil meet­ing yes­ter­day, although the item was not on the agenda.

Mabilo rose to the podium to de­liver his maiden ad­dress as mayor, with a pre­pared speech that was al­ready typed up, af­ter he was elected un­op­posed fol­low­ing a staged walk­out by the DA.

The EFF also left the cham­bers when the vot­ing took place and later re­turned.

This fol­lows af­ter the North­ern Cape High Court dis­missed an ap­pli­ca­tion by nine ex­pelled ANC coun­cil­lors to be re­in­stated at Sol Plaatje Mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

The for­mer mayor, Pula Tha­bane, had to va­cate his post as he is one of the ex­pelled coun­cil­lors, while the names of the ex­pelled coun­cil­lors were al­ready re­moved from the at­ten­dance reg­is­ter yes­ter­day morn­ing.

DA chief whip Christo­pher Phiri re­quested that the court ver­dicts re­gard­ing the Sec­tion 106 in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­port on Sol Plaatje Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, as well as the in­ter­dict against the nine ANC coun­cil­lors’ re­moval, be pre­sented to coun­cil.

“Coun­cil has no knowl­edge of the res­ig­na­tion or re­moval of the mayor,” said Phiri.

He added that while nine va­can­cies had been de­clared, there was no doc­u­men­ta­tion re­lat­ing to the two pro­por­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tion (PR) coun­cil­lors.

The meet­ing was con­vened to dis­cuss the Sec­tion 106 in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­port into mat­ters at Sol Plaatje Mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

The ma­jor­ity of coun­cil­lors de­cided that the re­port be put in abeyance, pend­ing the out­come of Sol Plaatje chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer Ly­dia Mahloko’s court ap­pli­ca­tion to in­ter­dict im­ple­ment­ing any of the find­ings or rec­om­men­da­tions.

ANC coun­cil­lor Ron­nie Morwe added that coun­cil had only been pre­sented with a sum­mary of the Sec­tion 106 re­port.

“It was re­solved that a spe­cial coun­cil meet­ing should take place to ex­am­ine the com­pre­hen­sive, de­tailed re­port as well as the miss­ing pages.”

Act­ing Speaker Ben­jamin Spring­bok said the two PR coun­cil­lors would be an­nounced at the next coun­cil meet­ing, while the seven ward coun­cil­lors would be re­placed when by-elec­tions take place in Fe­bru­ary next year.

EFF coun­cil­lor IM Pholo­holo ad­vised coun­cil to stick to the items on the agenda, while EFF coun­cil­lor San­dra Doyle be­lieved that coun­cil was be­ing turned into a “Mickey Mouse” body.

“You should be ashamed of your­self for only real­is­ing to­day that you are in a cri­sis,” Pholo­holo told ANC coun­cil­lors.

Dur­ing the coun­cil meet­ing the gen­eral man­ager of rev­enue man­age­ment, An­dries Klop­per, stated that mu­nic­i­pal debt had in­creased to R300 mil­lion due to bad and ir­recov­er­able debts.

De­spite rumours of a pos­si­ble city-wide protest due to the un­hap­pi­ness that the ex­pelled coun­cil­lors would not be re­turn­ing, com­mu­nity mem­bers be­lieved that the city could not af­ford an­other shut­down.

The ex­pelled coun­cil­lors were locked in meet­ings late yes­ter­day af­ter­noon to dis­cuss the way for­ward.

The chair­per­son of Wanya Tsotsi, Pantsi Obusitse, was dis­ap­pointed that the coun­cil­lors “who had stood up for the com­mu­nity and against cor­rup­tion” had been si­lenced.

One of the ex­pelled coun­cil­lors, Pius Tshite, stated that the coun­cil­lors never re­gret­ted their ac­tions.

“It has never been about get­ting a salary but about stand­ing up for what is right and rep­re­sent­ing the com­mu­nity. I will not hes­i­tate to do it again,” said Tshite.

to join hands in restor­ing the city to its for­mer glory.

Cope coun­cil­lor Rosie Lud­wick pointed put that the new mayor had to ad­dress an eight-month back­log, which has seen the city plunged into cri­sis.

In­de­pen­dent coun­cil­lor Te­bogo Ham­mer com­mit­ted to work with the new mayor in “restor­ing the dig­nity and in­tegrity” of the city.

EFF chief whip Fran­cis Thulo re­frained from say­ing any­thing. “I will wait for the next or­di­nary coun­cil meet­ing.”

ANC chief whip Win­ters Keetile wel­comed Mabilo as the new head of the in­sti­tu­tion.

“We come from very dif­fi­cult times. The coun­cil­lors who col­lab­o­rated with the op­po­si­tion have left this house,” said Keetile.

Pic­ture: So­raya Crowie

Patrick Mabilo ac­cepted the po­si­tion of Sol Plaatje ex­ec­u­tive mayor dur­ing a coun­cil meet­ing yes­ter­day.

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