Gift Moerane. File picture.
The Emfuleni Municipality has inaugurated anti-apartheid activist Gift Moerane as the new mayor amid turmoil which saw the ANC offices in Sedibeng burnt down last week. The ANC said the arson attack, which was followed by a protest outside the party’s headquarters in Joburg, was not politically motivated.

The group of about 50 protesters, clad in ANC colours, demanded that Gauteng premier David Makhura remove the mayor, who they said he had imposed on them. But ANC provincial executive committee (PEC) member Mzi Khumalo said the election of the new mayor had nothing to do with recent developments.

“You would know that if there is such a vacancy, people would get involved lobbying for this and that. But we’ve got an organisational process and that was followed until where we are. The regional task-team that was established here submitted three names to us as the PEC and on the basis of that we had to move beyond the three names and therefore choose Gift Moerane,” said Khumalo.

“We spent the whole day here and I can confidently tell you that all the structures of the ANC are in support of our executive mayor. We want to believe that the burning of the office of the ANC is a criminal matter. We don’t want to accuse anyone of anything, We are saying the criminal process must be followed and for those who are caught, the law must take its course.”

Moerane’s inauguration was preceded by EFF members being removed from the Sharpeville community hall. The EFF demanded that a legal officer preside over the proceedings.

Meanwhile, DA caucus chairperson Edward Von Bodenstein said the appointment was insignificant for the people of Emfuleni.

“We view this as just the same horse with different jockeys. The ANC has been in power for over 25 years and currently they are fighting among themselves... so Moerane is a compromised candidate. The people of Emfuleni are sick and tired of the infighting of the ANC.

“Service delivery has come to a standstill in Emfuleni and it is getting worse by the day. The area is dirty and all of them who have been appointed as mayors talk the same story but we have seen nothing happening,” said Von Bodenstein.

However, Moerane told The Sunday Independent that he was committed to turning the ailing municipality around. 

“There’s corruption at all levels and it has been a stumbling block for the municipality to collect revenue. Everyone joins government with the purpose of looting and stealing, and this is the cause of poor governance. I’m going to organise a team to strategise and assess the situation. I will do everything based on that assessment and root out corruption,” said Moerane.

Sunday Independent