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Councillors want top officials axed

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“We want Goolam and Matlhoko to return to office because they are the only ones who understand how the municipality works”

RELATIONSHIPS continue to sour at the Sol Plaatje Municipality, with the mayoral committee demanding the return of the suspended municipal manager (MM), Goolam Akharwaray, and chief financial officer (CFO), Lydia Mahloko.

The committee wants the acting MM, Thami Mabija, acting CFO, Zahid Cader, and the executive mayor, Patrick Mabilo, to go as it accuses them of doing nothing but harming the municipality since they started in their posts.

On Friday, committee members told the DFA that they see the move as the only option in order to bring stability to the municipality.

The call for the removal of the MM and CFO was triggered by the proposal to scrap the School of Governance course for councillors at Fort Hare as a cost-containment measure.

According to the councillors, they started participating in the course in 2017 in an effort to capacitate themselves on local government issues.

A source at the municipality revealed that the course is costing the municipality a “fortune” in taxpayers’ money and accused the attendants of using it as a holiday.

She stated that the attendants make use of expensive rental cars and accommodation for the week that they have to attend the course.

“We want Goolam and Matlhoko to return to office because they are the only ones who understand how the municipality works,” said one of the councillors on Friday.

“The council did not suspend Mahloko and Goolam but the ANC did so. Our MM and CFO must report back to work on Monday (today) because they are still getting paid.”

The councillors said that the funds used for the course do not come from the municipality.

“This scrapping of this course is not due to cost containment at all because that money is being budgeted for and not from the municipality but from the Setas.

“The administration wants to keep us councillors ‘illiterate’ and subjected to our past through putting a stop to this course.”

They further said that the “arrogance” of the MM and the CFO has soured their relationship with them.

The committee members said that the mayor is an “embarrassment” to them as he continues to make empty promises and accuses the councillors of being lazy.

“When Mabilo was appointed two years ago he promised that he will clean the city in two weeks but look at what the city looks like.

“All he does is be flamboyant and is constantly on social media instead of paying attention to what he is expected to do, which is to deliver services.”