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ANC denies tensions

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Mabilo has not yet been officially handed over the mayoral chain and gown, six months after he was announced as the city’s mayor

Member of the Provincial Legislature, Mangaliso Matika

TENSIONS between Sol Plaatje executive mayor Patrick Mabilo and former mayor Mangaliso Matika are said to be at boiling point, where the two are at “constant loggerheads”.

Mabilo has not yet been officially handed over the mayoral chain and gown, six months after he was announced as the city’s mayor.

It was reported that municipal officials loyal to Matika were being instructed to push through tenders without the approval or consultation of the current mayor.

“Matika is continuing to ‘remote control’ the running of the municipality. Mabilo is trying to root out corruption and this is making him unpopular. There are concerted efforts to get rid of him because in many circles he was not the first choice.

“Many of the council meetings are not taking place because of these outside influences, where they are trying to render Mabilo ineffective.”

ANC Frances Baard regional spokesperson Tshepo Sedukanelo Louw said he was shocked “to learn through the media” that the ANC leadership was rumoured to be divided.

“We wish to put it on record that the ANC regional chairperson, Mangaliso Matika, and the executive mayor, as the convener of the Sol Plaatje sub region, Patrick Mabilo, are working together,” said Louw.

“The caucus of the ANC in the district is united under the leadership of the ANC, hence there is stability in council as councillors adhere to the mandate of the ANC.”

He added that the rumours of a rift between Mabilo and Matika are “mischievous, divisive and unfounded”.

“It must be emphasised that there are processes and mechanisms within the ANC to resolve differences in opinion and to resolve conflicts. Should any situation arise that requires intervention between two important leaders in the region, then internal ANC processes will be followed. If the matter cannot be resolved at a regional level it would be escalated to provincial level.”

Louw denied any suggestions that there were attempts to remove Mabilo as the executive mayor.

“There is no bad blood between the two. Whoever is spreading these false rumours wants to divide the ANC on the eve of the elections, and that will not be tolerated or allowed.”

He pointed out that the ANC regional chairperson was not involved in the operations or awarding of tenders at the municipality.

“He has no personal interest in who gets what tender. All the chairperson concerns himself with is service delivery and he allows space and time for the officials of the municipality to do their work. The chairperson can also not interfere or answer to the frequency of council meetings as he is not involved at that level. These are once again just malicious rumours.”

Louw also dismissed rumours that Matika was neglecting his work in his capacity as chair of chairs at the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature.

“Whoever is spreading these malicious rumours is just an agent of those who seek to destabilise the ANC and create doubt and mistrust amongst its members. They will be defeated.”

ANC provincial secretary Deshi Ngxanga reiterated that there were no plans to remove the mayor.

“The ANC in the Northern Cape has absolute confidence in the mayor and his team at the Sol Plaatje Municipality. We strongly believe that thus far he has been able to bring about calm to the municipality.”

Ngxanga added that council meetings were proceeding as planned.

“The adjustment budget for 2018/19 was tabled and meetings at the legislature are being convened regularly.

“We can confidently say that the ANC caucus at the legislature is the one that is holding the caucus together.”

Ngxanga accused the DA of not attending committee meetings at the legislature.