Mamusa Mayor Mita Chelechele allegedly elected unlawfully and faces legal challenge
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Johannesburg - Legal action is brewing against officials of the Mamusa Local Municipality in Schweizer-Reneke in the North West for allegedly flouting standing rules of council during the alleged irregular election of ANC’s Mita Chelechele as mayor.
The controversial election of Chelechele on Tuesday night happened despite the municipality having issued a media alert earlier in the day announcing that the new Speaker Olebogeng Mogorosi had postponed the meeting for the election of mayor and chief whip of council until Friday.
In the statement issued, the municipality said the Mamusa Local Municipality’s inaugural council meeting was on Monday in terms of Section 29 read with Section 18(2) of The Local Government: Municipal Structures Amendment Act, Act No.3 of 2021.
According to Municipal spokesperson Jerry Maine all the councillors were notified about the meeting last Friday, in accordance with the prescribed 48 hours requirement.
In the statement, Maine said on Monday: “All the 16 councillors were sworn in and proceeded with the election of the Speaker of Council. I have the pleasure of informing the residents that councillor Olebeng Mogorosi was elected as the first Speaker of Mamusa Local Municipality. The Speaker, Olebeng Mogorosi is the PR Councillor for the EFF.”
Maine conceded in his statement that there was disruption of the proceedings which forced the council to move the meeting to another venue on Monday, but that too did not happen due to the non-attendance of ANC councillors.
He said Mogorosi then postponed the meeting until Tuesday but the ANC members also failed to attend which resulted in the Speaker postponing the meeting until tomorrow.
On Wednesday night, the aggrieved Boyce Mpempe of the Azanian Independent Movement said his party was obtaining legal advice to challenge the irregular election of Chelechele, saying they were informed just after 6pm about a meeting to be held at 9pm on Tuesday. He said his party’s only candidate in the municipality could not make it to the meeting due to her being informed late, saying the councillor lives 40km away from Schweizer-Reneke and she does not have transport.
“We knew about the earlier meeting at 10 but the ANC councillors were not present. They were summoned to Dr Ruth Mompati District Council offices with leaders of the North West Interim Provincial Committee under Hlomane Chauke. The ANC leadership were apparently unhappy about the election of an EFF councillor as Speaker. So the ANC members were getting new instructions to vote for ANC candidates for mayoral and chief whip positions,” Mpempe said.
He said the three hour notice for a meeting which elected Chelechele was unlawful and illegal.
“We arrived at the meeting, which was chaired by Mamusa municipal manager Rantso Gincane and was assisted by Naledi Local Municipality’s municipal manager Modisenyane Segapo who was introduced to us as the Local Government’s MEC representative,” Mpempe said.
Adding to his grief, Mpempe said there were no ballot boxes and voting allegedly also happened irregularly. The EFF, however, found nothing wrong in the impromptu meeting.
Maine was not available to comment on the alleged irregularities in the election of Chelechele as mayor.
Meanwhile, the ANC has vowed to act against some of the councillors who secretly voted for Mogorosi as speaker of Mamusa against party instructions.
Chauke said his party condemns in the strongest possible terms the developments in the Mamusa where ANC members elected to vote in a secret ballot against the directive of the organisation.
“In the worst act of counter-revolution, some ANC councillors who are unknown at this stage voted in favour of the candidate of the opposition, electing him as Speaker of the Mamusa municipality.
“The ANC vehemently condemns this act of disloyalty and betrayal which undermines the will of the people of Mamusa,” Chauke said.