Councillor suspended over march

Pretoria - City of Tshwane councillor Apson Makaung has been suspended from the ANC and placed on special leave by the City of Tshwane for participating in last month’s march to the party’s regional offices in Arcadia.

The ANC has charged Makaung with bringing the party into disrepute, causing a breakdown of unity as well as undermining the respect for and impeding the functioning of the party’s Tshwane region and Gauteng provincial working committee. The decision to suspend the proportional representation councillor was taken by the provincial committee, which informed regional secretary Paul Mojapelo.

File picture: Independent Newspapers. Credit: Independent Newspapers

The provincial committee is accusing him of misconduct and contravening the rules and constitution of the ANC through his participation in the protest on August 1.

The regional leadership informed Tshwane council chief whip Jabu Mabona, instructing him to give Makaung leave of absence pending completion of the hearing.

Makaung, who has been a councillor since the 2011 local government election, has been barred from participating in council and related business, pending the outcome of internal disciplinary processes.

The SACP district secretary who served in many political, civic and student movements since the 1980s, may also not participate in any activity of the ANC during his suspension.

Makaung confirmed he had received notices of temporary suspension from the ANC and another placing him on special leave from the City of Tshwane.

However, he refused to comment further, arguing any statement he made in public could prejudice his rights in the matter.

Lebogang Matji, spokeswoman for the City of Tshwane, told the Pretoria News the municipality was committed to clean governance and would take action against any official implicated in misconduct, irrespective of their position.

Matji said the city had taken a principled decision not to comment on the matter regarding Makaung in order to allow all internal processes of the metro and ANC to unfold.

The city had a responsibility to respect the rights of employees who were the subject of any investigation and disciplinary process, said Matji.

According to the ANC, the illegal violent protest, which the party said Makaung organised and led, was held with the intention to intimidate staff members and security officers in charge at the regional offices.

The office had to be closed for the safety of the ANC and staff as a result, the party stated.

The charges relate to the events of the day when disgruntled members of the ANC descended on the regional offices in Arcadia, demanding that the national executive committee monitor the party caucus in Tshwane to ensure meetings were run democratically.

They wanted all members dismissed, suspended or removed unfairly to be reinstated, and the regional nomination list for the upcoming conference nullified and any member in good standing allowed to participate.