Mangaliso Matika
Kimberley - The DA has called for the Sol Plaatje executive mayor, Mangaliso Matika, to resign, accusing him of holding council hostage.

This follows last week’s decision by the ANC’s Regional Executive Committee to axe the Sol Plaatje Speaker, Elizabeth Johnson, which DA leader Andrew Louw believes is the latest example of how the mayor’s influence was compromising the municipality.

In a statement issued by the DA on Sunday, Louw called for Matika to step down from his position, saying that his conduct was proving increasingly detrimental.

“Matika previously used his influence to prevent Johnson from doing her job,” stated Louw. “This was evident in the way in which he manipulated council agendas and proactively saw to it that the opposition was silenced.

“Now, Matika has used his clout to conveniently have Johnson removed from office in what the DA strongly suspects is an effort to strengthen his hold on the municipality for his personal gain.”

READ: Residents file charges against Sol Plaatje mayor after protest

Louw further pointed out that Matika recently had the municipality purchase an Audi Q7 mayoral vehicle valued at over R1 million.

“This is in spite of an increasing need for investment in the municipal fleet,” he stated. “If Matika really cared about service delivery, he would have bought a cheaper vehicle and allowed the difference to be allocated towards rather procuring a municipal truck, which can cost anything between R2 million and R3 million.”

Louw further stated that Matika was also under suspicion for receiving alleged irregular housing benefits relating to furnishings valued at over R160 000.

“Matika is also known to abuse his prior knowledge of the disposal of certain erven, which are specifically intended for purchase by previously disadvantaged individuals (PDIs), to the advantage of himself and his cronies. One such instance is the sale of a prime plot in Southridge to the Provincial Police Commissioner, Risimati Shivuri.

“Matika’s actions are indicative of a bully, strengthening his circle of power so that he can accelerate his personal agenda.

“As long as the ANC fails to act against Matika, it proves that Ramaphosa’s ANC is no different to Zuma’s ANC and that, as long as the ANC governs, state looting will continue to be the order of the day.”

In response to the DA’s statement, the spokesperson for Matika’s office, George Mosimane, said that they were not willing to entertain the party’s allegations, which he said “were, as they should, already receiving attention through the appropriate channels”.

DFA