Screengrab of the VBS Mutual Bank website
Screengrab of the VBS Mutual Bank website

Leaders to decide mayors’ fate

By Baldwin Ndaba Time of article published Oct 22, 2019

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Johannesburg - The ANC in Gauteng wants its national leadership, including party president Cyril Ramaphosa, to determine the future of two of its senior members.

The members are former West District Municipality mayor Boycie Maneli and Merafong Local Municipality mayor Maphefo Letsie Mogale, whose municipalities are said to have “illegally” invested in the controversial and now-defunct VBS Mutual Bank.

The party’s latest call, according to insiders, comes after the provincial integrity committee (PIC), led by party member Trevor Fowler, tabled recommendations to the Gauteng ANC provincial executive committee (PEC) that Maneli and Mogale be axed from their respective municipal roles for investing millions of rand in VBS.

West Rand invested about R77million while Merafong invested R50m.

In October last year, the District Municipality was hit by a series of protests following its failure to pay salaries on time, including third parties such as Sars and employees’ pension contributions.

Fowler’s committee has since asked the ANC to remove Mogale as councillor and mayor, and to also terminate her ANC membership.

It also wants Maneli, who was elected an ANC MP, to be removed from Parliament and for his membership to also be revoked.

The ruling by the provincial integrity committee comes despite a forensic report commissioned by the Gauteng Treasury which found no wrongdoing on the parts of Maneli and Mogale.

The forensic report had instead recommended disciplinary action against three other officials who were responsible for the investments, and which include the chief financial officers of both municipalities.

But ANC insiders said Fowler’s report, presented to the Gauteng ANC PEC this past weekend, found that Maneli and Mogale had brought the reputation of the ANC into disrepute.

“The PEC rejected the integrity committee’s report,” one of the sources said.

ANC provincial spokesperson Bones Modise confirmed that a report was presented to the ANC, but said the final decision on the future of all officials who allegedly invested with VBS Mutual Bank “is being dealt with by ANC national office bearers”.

“It is a national issue. We did not reject the report. We referred the matter to our national office-bearers, who have appointed a committee to deal with all cases of VBS investments,” Modise said. He confirmed that the integrity committee had also recommended the removal of Gauteng MEC for Community Safety Faith Mazibuko, following her “racist outbursts” at two senior government officials while she was MEC for Sports, Arts and Culture.

Mazibuko accused the pair of having failed to facilitate the construction of “combi courts”, which Mazibuko allegedly wanted to use to help campaign for the ANC in Gauteng. Mazibuko has since apologised for her outburst, but Fowler insisted she be removed.

Modise said the ANC provincial leadership had been tasked to discuss the integrity committee’s recommendation with its national leadership.

Political Bureau

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