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EFF mayor axed from NC municipality

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The EFF mayor of Thembelihle Local Municipality, Leonard Makenna, who was removed through a motion of no confidence this week, has vowed that he will continue combating corruption in the municipality.

Leonard Makenna. Picture: Facebook

THE EFF mayor of Thembelihle Local Municipality, Leonard Makenna, who was removed through a motion of no confidence this week, has vowed that he will continue combating corruption in the municipality.

Makenna was replaced as mayor by Siyathemba Community Movement councillor Marnus “Stan” Visser.

The Northern Cape MEC for Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (Coghsta), Bentley Vass, convened an urgent meeting for all councillors on April 9, the day following Makenna’s removal, to discuss “governance matters and service delivery imperatives”.

Makenna warned that despite him no longer occupying the mayoral seat, the investigation into a R2.2 million electrification contract, where no work was completed, would still proceed.

“I remain an ordinary councillor at the municipality and I will not stop exposing the rot. The Hawks are coming to Thembelihle very soon. Warrants of arrest have been issued already.”

He believed that his removal was motivated by his refusal to withdraw all the corruption cases that he had opened.

“The motion of no confidence was supported by ANC councillors and one independent councillor.

“I would rather choose to fall on my sword for fighting against corruption at Thembelihle Local Municipality. Having served as mayor for the past two and a half years, I have never sacrificed myself for this struggle, in exchange for a position.”

The EFF in the Thembelihle sub-region noted “with disgust the flimsy and lousy attempt” to silence Makenna.

“Fighter Makenna is on a mission to expose the wickedness of corrupt individuals. He has hit a nerve and now they are gunning for him.”

The party pointed out that the same council had refused to implement the recommendations of the MEC for Coghsta while they were quick to pass the motion of no confidence against the mayor.

“Do they fear the investigations that are currently under way or are they afraid that he will expose more cancer at the municipality?”

EFF provincial leader Shadrack Tlhaole pointed out that the removal of Makenna would not prevent the party from exposing corruption in the municipality.

“We are proud of his performance while serving as the mayor. He was resolute in improving service delivery, not becoming involved in wrong things and remains intent to continue rooting out corruption,” said Tlhaole.

Makenna had in February requested an investigation into irregular payments after two officials allegedly backdated the latest upper limits for all public representatives to the amount of R366,429.80, without consent from the council or authorisation from the office of the MEC for Coghsta.

He had warned that the council was facing serious financial difficulties and would struggle to pay salaries.

He also raised the alarm when the chief financial officer (CFO) allegedly paid R245,064.56 into the personal bank account of the corporate services director on January 25, from funds from the Municipal Infrastructure Grant.

Makenna approached the Northern Cape High Court on March 22 in an urgent bid to compel the local council to comply after it defied the instructions of MEC Vass.

Vass had advised the Thembelihle municipal council that the decision to reinstate the senior manager of corporate services, Trevin Ralph Oliphant, and uplift the suspension of the CFO, Radile Shuping, went against the MEC’s advice and should be reversed.

The matter was struck off the roll last month.

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