Phokwane mayor defies ANC as she refuses to step down
Politics / 15 April 2019, 08:34am / Sandi Kwon Hoo
Kimberley - Phokwane Municipality mayor Sentse Kalman is refusing to vacate her seat, in defiance of orders given by the ANC in December last year that she step down.
ANC regional secretary Webster Dichaba on Friday announced that the Speaker at Phokwane Municipality, Horatius Modiakgotla, had been expelled by the regional executive committee (REC) on charges of misconduct.
Modiakgotla was also told to resign at the same time as Kalman but was apparently also refusing to leave.
The municipality was thrown into disarray following community protests, where one group favoured the mayor while another group were behind the suspended municipal manager, Matshidiso Mogale.
Dichaba indicated that the mayor’s defiance represented the “highest order of ill-discipline”.
“We have asked her to step down and she has bluntly refused. She has chosen to go against the instruction given by the ANC, to resign. As an ANC provincial executive committee (PEC) member and mayor, she should know better. If she continues to dig in her heels, legal processes must follow,” said Dichaba.
He stated that in order to bring stability to the municipality it was decided that all three (Kalman, Modiakgotla and Mogale) should leave.
“Their continued stay at the municipality poses a potential danger to the delivery of services to our people. For months, the community has had no access to water, while the morale of municipal staff is at its lowest.
“We did not want to reinforce factions - we could not ask one person to leave and let the other party remain behind. Phokwane Municipality, was in a state of paralysis and we welcome the decision of the Department of Co-operative Governance, Human Settlement and Traditional Affairs to place it under administration.”
Dichaba indicated that Kalman’s disciplinary process was still unfolding.
“Due to technical delays, the process has not been concluded yet. The matter is still sub-judice.
“However, we cannot remove her through an unlawful process. We cannot thumb suck evidence and are constructively engaging with her.”
Dichaba added that Modiakgotla was also instrumental in fuelling the fire between the two factions.
“Modiakgotla was expelled with effect from April 10, following a disciplinary process on a charge of misconduct committed on September 28, 2018. The member refused to execute a written instruction from the REC that directed him not to take a decision to suspend a deployee of the ANC at Phokwane Municipality.
“Subsequently, there were numerous instructions to rescind the suspension of the deployee, where Modiakgotla failed to comply.”
He indicated that Modiakgotla was also charged for collaborating with opposition political parties on September 30, to suspend the ANC deployee, contrary to the objectives of the ANC and undermining the organisation.
“The councillor potentially provoked division and impacted negatively towards the unity of the ANC, in that branches of the ANC are defining themselves as belonging to particular factions and individuals within the organisation.”
Dichaba stated that Modiakgotla continued to defy the structures by mobilising members against the ANC leaders, after the REC and PEC had sought to intervene.
He said the affected councillors were permitted to appeal the sanction of expulsion within 21 days, while Kalman’s hearing is set to take place in due course.
Despite ongoing complaints regarding service delivery protests in a number of district municipalities, Dichaba reported that efforts to improve service delivery at municipalities were ongoing.
“The potholes in Pampierstad and Hartswater are being fixed. We are not focusing on service delivery because it is election time. We will continue beyond the elections to meet the demands of our voters.”