Johannesburg - The ANC’s internecine battle over the mayoral seat of the Tlokwe municipality is expected to take another twist - after the appointment of a DA candidate.
The ruling party was adamant that the same councillors who supported a motion of no confidence that unseated Maphetle Maphetle as mayor in November 22 last year would change their stance when the matter is voted on again on Tuesday.
Although the councillors have made a commitment to the ANC leadership, there were rumours that some had vowed not to support Maphetle’s return.
A source said some had already planned to find reasons to stay away from the council sitting.
The unusual conduct by ANC members that led to the DA’s Annette Combrinck, a former rector of North West University’s Potchefstroom campus, replacing Maphetle as mayor was at the time largely attributed to warring ANC factions and divisions between its councillors ahead of the Mangaung national congress.
Allegations of corruption against Maphetle were also cited as the main reasons for the tabling of a motion of no confidence against him.
Now the ruling party is adamant that the road has been paved for Combrinck’s dethroning, in the same way Maphetle was ousted - through a motion of no confidence, which is expected to be passed and voted upon at a council sitting on Tuesday.
This comes in the wake of President Jacob Zuma’s visit, together with the ANC national working committee, to the trouble-torn North West earlier this month.
While Zuma, his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa and other leaders were in the province to address various issues, the handing over on a silver platter of the mayoral seat to the DA by the party’s own members seemed to have been at the centre of their visit.
The ANC has made it clear following Zuma’s victory at Mangaung that the party was going to return to the helm of the Tlokwe municipality.
Party spokesman Jackson Mthembu said after the Potchefstroom meeting earlier this month: “All councillors apologised for their unbecoming behaviour and expressed regret for having let down the organisation. A council meeting is scheduled February 26 to reinstate the ANC mayor to correct the wrongs that were created by the ANC councillors.”
With the ANC councillors being in the majority, Tuesday could be Combrinck’s last day in office if the entire ruling-party bench supports her removal.
The DA seems to have already accepted that its stint in the mayoral office is coming to an end. It has, though, recently been singing its own praises for its “sterling” work in the three months it has led Tlokwe.
This continued at the weekend during a visit by DA leader Helen Zille to Tlokwe. She did a walkabout to assess what her party has delivered in the past three months.
Zille accused the ANC of maladministration in Tlokwe, while citing a number of projects successfully completed under Combrinck’s watch.
“Under the ANC, R143 million was irregularly spent last year alone and a further R152 million was spent without proper authorisation. This type of mismanagement does not happen where the DA governs and it would never occur in a DA-governed Tlokwe,” Zille said on Saturday.
“While the DA may continue to govern in Tlokwe for only a few days more, we can be proud that we have made major strides in making this a more delivery-focused municipality.”