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Date chosen for city by-elections

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ANC provincial spokesperson Naledi Gaosekwe said that all attempts were made to resolve the matter amicably

File photo: African News Agency (ANA)

THE HOD for the Department of Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs yesterday requested the Independent Electoral Commission to set February 13 2019 as the date for the by-elections that will be held in seven wards in the Sol Plaatje municipal district.

This follows the expulsion of nine ANC councillors who were found guilty of colluding with opposition parties when the former Sol Plaatje executive mayor, Mangaliso Matika, was voted out of office.

ANC provincial spokesperson Naledi Gaosekwe said that all attempts were made to resolve the matter amicably.

“The ANC in the Frances Baard region and Province sought to, on countless occasions, engage with the recalcitrant councillors, following what it had termed the need to engage with the matter of the community protests and ‘acting’ in the best interest of the community in the matter,” said Gaosekwe.

She added that the nine councillors in question had ceased to be members of the ANC and could no longer represent the ANC at Sol Plaatje Municipality.

“We arrived at this decision following numerous engagements between them, officials of the ANC in the Province and National Executive Committee deployees. It is misleading and mischievous to invoke public sympathy, through the perpetuation of falsehoods and abusing genuine community grievances for improved service delivery, to advance narrow self-interest through collusion with the opposition.”

Gaosekwe stated that new ward candidates would be sought to contest the upcoming by-elections in the vacant wards in Galeshewe.

“We call on all ANC members to diligently engage with internal processes, to ensure that we identify candidates that observe organisational discipline and will serve their communities wholeheartedly.”

She added that the majority of the expelled members had stayed away from the disciplinary proceedings, without being excused by the chairperson.

“This behaviour shows flagrant disregard for ANC processes and its constitutional provisions. After being found guilty by the regional disciplinary committee on October 25, the provincial disciplinary committee had not received any appeal from the affected members at the close of business on November 16. It is on this basis that the ANC had written to the acting municipal manager at Sol Plaatje Municipality to request that vacancies be declared.”