ANC set to wield axe in Limpopo councils

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Johannesburg - ANC Limpopo mayors and councillors face being axed for non-performance, but the move’s detractors say it is a purge of President Jacob Zuma’s supporters ahead of Mangaung in December.

The ANC’s Peter Mokaba region, which includes Polokwane, is assessing the performance of five local municipalities.

A report with recommendations will be sent to the ANC provincial leadership.

Among those who face the axe is Serite Segoloane, the mayor of the Blouberg municipality.

Segoloane is known to be a Zuma supporter, and has gone against regional and provincial resolutions to support Zuma’s deputy, Kgalema Motlanthe, for the top position.

According to sources close to him, he is a supporter of Zuma’s bid for a second term.

Segoloane, who had been the deputy chairman for the region until early this year, also ruffled feathers by standing against incumbent Lawrence Mapoulo at a regional elective conference in May. Mapoulo won the contest by nine votes.

Even though he no longer occupies any position in ANC structures, Segoloane’s influence in the region is said to be a major concern for the region and the province.

Mapoulo and ANC provincial chairman and premier, Cassel Mathale, are close allies of expelled ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema.

Last Wednesday, the region’s leadership was in the Blouberg municipality on a fact-finding mission at the divided council.

Two councillors who attended the meeting said Mapoulo had demanded reports from Segoloane, council speaker Maria Thamaga and chief whip Billy Choshi.

This was after allegations that the two had called a secret caucus meeting that had excluded the mayor.

“Since the regional conference, certain councillors have resolved to disrespect the mayor, and we know they have their support from the region,” said a councillor, who asked not to be named.

Another councillor said there would be a mass resignation of councillors if Segoloane was fired.

“They are trying to intimidate the rest of us by threatening to fire Segoloane. This is purely about Mangaung and the fact that Segoloane contested against Mapoulo. But they don’t have numbers in Blouberg,” said the councillor.

However, another councillor said there had been administrative bungles at the municipality.

He cited the expulsion of the chief traffic officer and another traffic officer. “The municipality has fired the two without following proper procedure, and now arbitration has instructed that they be reinstated,” said the councillor.

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