“CORRUPT, greedy, a bully, and intimidating”
This is how some ANC councillors in the Free State town of Ngwathe, described Municipal Mayor, Victoria De Beers.
Councillors told Independent Media that De Beers was on a rampage, intimidating senior officials and bullying councillors into voting for budget resolutions they knew nothing about.
One of the councillors, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the mayor wanted to rule with an iron fist and that they couldn’t allow that as they were in council to serve the interests of the community, and not of individuals.
“Victoria wants us to pass things we did not agree about in council, all for her to please her people. When some of us refuse to rubber-stamp her decision she stifles us. We understand that she’s the mayor and chairperson in the region but she just can’t do everything and anything she wants,” the councillor said.
Another ANC councillor, known as Rasta, said he was not surprised by these bullying tendencies as he was once a victim of assault. He added that they were dealing with criminals, not comrades, who can do anything to stay in power.
“I am not surprised by what happened to Themba Mpindo, the official who was beaten for merely doing his job. It’s unfortunate that Mpindo was beaten for refusing to sign a document that sought to bankrupt our municipality,” he said.
Rasta continued that the municipality was under pressure to pay Eskom, yet “someone just wants to give her friends money to further destroy our town.” He would how, should members of the opposition one day pass a motion of no confidence against her, did De Beers expect them to defend her, with the attitude she had towards her caucus?
“The ANC caucus is heavily divided, we are not united at all, we can’t agree on anything because De Beers and her people want to treat us like retards. Some of us are treated like this because they think we are not members of the ANC by our proximity to the former SG (Secretary General) Ace Magashule,” he said.
De Beers has also been accused of instructing an EPWP worker to manhandle a senior manager in the budget and expenditure division of the municipality, Themba Mpindo. Immediately after the worker was arrested by the police he allegedly confessed to police that he was implementing De Beer’s instruction to assault Mpindo.
Mpindo, he confirmed the incident, adding that the man was arrested: “Yes, it's true I was assaulted on Wednesday the 3rd Jan 2024. The accused was arrested, charged and fined. We are meeting in court on the 5th Feb 2024,” the senior official said.
Mpindo said he didn’t know why the municipal mayor behaved and acted the way she had.
“I honestly don't know. I'm disappointed and angry. ‘Coz if there is anything wrong I have done why can't she call me and reprimand me like a leader, instead of acting like a thug?”
On the question of the relationship between him and the mayor, Mpindo said he did not see a reason or the need for him interact with her after what he was subjected to. Last week, the senior official was again barred from entering the municipality by a group of people claiming to be members of the union.
Both De Beers and her spokesperson Mbulelo Mtshilibe failed to respond to the Saturday Star’s phone calls and messages. The provincial ANC spokesperson Jabu Mbalula also did not reply to our inquiry.