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Modimolle-Mookgophong municipality in Limpopo still hung after two sittings

ANC provincial general secretary, Soviet Lekganyane. Picture: Mashudu Sadike

ANC provincial general secretary, Soviet Lekganyane. Picture: Mashudu Sadike

Published Nov 25, 2021


Pretoria - Two days after the November 23 deadline for municipality councils to elect leaders, Modimolle-Mookgophong in Limpopo is still hung after the council meeting was disrupted, allegedly by ANC councillors on Tuesday.

Council convened on Monday to elect a speaker following the swearing in of all 28 councillors on Friday.

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The ANC in the 28-seat farm municipality garnered 14 seats following the November 1 local government elections. The DA won seven seats, EFF four, and the FF Plus three. This equalled the ANC’s 14 after the parties voted together for speaker.

According to a source within council, chaos ensued when voting resumed after the Monday tie of 14-14, with the three opposition parties ganging up on the ANC.

Desiree van der Walt. Picture: File

The municipality, which is predominantly farm land, was led by the DA’s Marlene van Staden through a coalition with the FF Plus from 2016.

The source said: “Council met on Monday after it was constituted on Friday where the councillors were inaugurated.

“On Monday the businesses of the day was to elect a speaker, and the DA nominated their candidate while the ANC nominated their own and the outcome was a tie. The ANC had 14 votes while the opposition got 14 votes.”

The source added: “Section 8 of schedule 3 of the Electoral Act stipulates that in that case another meeting must be convened within seven days and another meeting must be convened to re-elect councillors.

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“The presiding officer called for another meeting on Tuesday, where it was seemingly still a stalemate, but one the ANC alleged that there was a spoilt ballot which was overseen. Then council was out of order.”

The ANC in Limpopo had set its sights on regaining Modimolle-Mookgophong, which it lost to the DA in the 2016 polls.

Speaking to the Pretoria News yesterday, the DA’s constituency officer for Modimolle-Mookgophong, Desiree van der Walt, said she was disappointed at the conduct of the ANC councillors.

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In an event of a tie for speaker after two attempts the electoral law allows the speaker to be chosen by lot (or coin toss).

She said: “The ANC councillors are just too immature and don’t want to accept the laws of the country, and have no faith because the flip of the coin could have gone either way.

“The IEC provincial office and party agents agreed that that particular ballot was not spoilt.

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“So the ANC didn’t want any of that and started intimidating the presiding officer by coming in and out of council chambers.

“The IEC had agreed that the ballot was valid.

“They (ANC) are weak members who don’t care about service delivery.

“If we have to go to court to get the municipality constituted then we will do so,” Van der Walt said.

Responding to the Pretoria News over the allegations, ANC provincial secretary Soviet Lekganyane said: “The council had to adjourn because there was a tie. We will get a report from our caucus leaders.

“I don’t think that council members can disrupt their own council. We just need to get a determination from the IEC if the issue at hand, which is the ballot, was spoilt or not. There has to be a determination for us to move on.”

Limpopo Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Basikopo Makamu said his office will work on recording the meeting.

Pretoria News