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Community demands release of Sol’s report

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“It was not the councillors who asked for the Section 106 investigation. Even if the results are cooked, at least we will have the report.”

DEMANDS: Community members want the MEC for Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (Coghsta), Bentley Vass, to release the findings of the Section 106 investigation into allegations of fraud, corruption, maladministration and malpractice at Sol Plaatje Municipality, by the end of the week. Picture: Soraya Crowie

COMMUNITY members want the MEC for Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (Coghsta), Bentley Vass, to release the findings of the Section 106 investigation into allegations of fraud, corruption, maladministration and malpractice at Sol Plaatje Municipality, by the end of the week.

A community meeting was held at the circle in Galeshewe yesterday, where residents stated that they would march to the MEC’s office if their request was not granted.

The chairperson of community crime-fighting group Wanya Tsotsi, Pantsi Obusitse, pointed out that while protocol dictated that the report had to be presented before council first, the investigation had been conducted upon the insistence of the community.

“It was not the councillors who asked for the Section 106 investigation. Even if the results are cooked, at least we will have the report.”

A community member, Pawe Shuping, pointed out that there were “lots of deviations” at Sol Plaatje Municipality. “There should be no more dilly-dallying on the release of the Section 106 report, which was delayed because of hooligan behaviour in the council chambers.”

Shuping pointed out that the suspended municipal officials were still receiving their salaries every month, while the report was being withheld from the public. “If there are criminal charges, the implicated persons must go to jail. The municipal manager earns more than an MEC.”

It was also resolved that the community would stand behind a mayoral candidate of their choice, in their numbers.

“Two names were put forward for mayor at the last council meeting and it is time to vote him in. The mayor elect must not think that he will get an expensive car and that he will hire his girlfriends at the municipality,” community members stated.

Community activist Tumelo Mosikare added that the Sol Plaatje Community Forum would begin the process of applying to obtain electricity directly from Eskom.

One of the 11 ANC councillors who is facing disciplinary action for voting for the removal of the former Sol Plaatje executive mayor, Mangaliso Matika, said that he was prepared to be expelled for championing the cause of the community.

“I will abide by the outcome of the disciplinary hearing. I don’t mind losing out on a salary, some of us do not care about our stomachs. It is unfortunate that the ANC regards the community and the 11 ANC councillors as the enemy.”