political infighting within the ANC, which led to a vote of no confidence in an ANC mayor, has opened the way for the DA to take over the Tlokwe municipality in North West.
The ANC in Potchefstroom ditched its mayor, Mapetlhe Mapetlhe, after a marathon council meeting that lasted from Wednesday afternoon until early yesterday. A faction of ANC members accused him of corruption to the tune of more than R40 million, and wanted him out.
During the motion of no confidence, the ANC told the council: “The mayor interfered in the administration by procuring goods and services on behalf of the Tlokwe city council, [this] being a serious and unlawful conduct as determined by the Municipal Finance Management Act.
“[This type of conduct is] criminal in nature and carries consequences of imprisonment.”
The ANC had made two attempts to pass the vote of no confidence.
Early yesterday, it finally succeeded.
The DA, Cope and the Freedom Front also joined the faction of the ANC that passed the motion.
The council consists of 52 councillors – the ANC has a majority of 30, the DA has 19 councillors, the Freedom Front two and Cope one. Thirty-seven councillors voted out Mapetlhe, while 12 wanted him retained.
After the outcome, Mapetlhe relinquished his position and the elections for the new mayor were held.
The ANC put forward Lucky Tsagae’s name and the DA’s Professor Annette Combrinck – a former rector of the University of North West’s Potchefstroom campus – stood against him. Combrinck was voted in after obtaining 20 votes and Tsagae came a close second with 19.
The Mapetlhe supporters had abstained from voting.
ANC Speaker Barei Segotso, who presided over the elections, was among those who abstained.
Last night, Combrinck attributed her victory to the political infighting within the ANC ahead of the Mangaung conference next month.
Combrinck and the DA’s North West leader, Chris Hattingh, said the fighting was about “the control of power and financial resources of the municipality”, and a bid to influence the appointment of a municipal manager.
David Kham, ANC chief whip in the municipality, said:
“This is not about comrades Jacob Zuma and Kgalema Motlanthe, or the upcoming Mangaung conference. It has nothing to do with it. This is about maladministration. Why should it be about Mangaung while none of our 26 branches in Potchefstroom have qualified to go to the conference?”
Combrinck said she was aware that the ANC was on the verge of overturning her appointment, but vowed to clean up municipal finances and appoint suitable candidates in vacant senior positions in the municipality. She also intended to include ANC members in her mayoral committee .
The ANC in North West has called an urgent meeting for today.