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Embattled mayor faces mutiny

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“There has been a lot of resistance against any attempt to transform the municipality and bring about change since Mabilo was appointed.”

THE EMBATTLED Sol Plaatje executive mayor, Patrick Mabilo, is expected to face a mutiny within his own ranks when a motion of no confidence will be brought against him at today’s council meeting at 10am.

The motion was submitted to the Office of the Speaker on November 22 by the DA, who believes that he is no longer fit to hold office.

Some ANC councillors are apparently also expected to vote in support of the motion.

With 37 ANC councillors and 19 DA members, the remaining opposition parties, independent candidates and the splinter ANC group, who support Mabilo, may not constitute enough votes to prevent his removal from office.

ANC councillors who are loyal to the mayor stated that the motion of no confidence would not succeed.

“There has been no mandate given by the ANC leadership regarding how councillors should vote, although a caucus meeting is expected to be held before the council meeting.”

Some of the opposition councillors said they would first look at the merits of the motion before making a decision.

One councilor believed that the DA and a group of ANC councillors would join forces in order to oust Mabilo.

“There has been a lot of resistance against any attempt to transform the municipality and bring about change since Mabilo was appointed.”

According to the motion, the DA will argue that Mabilo has failed to perform the functions of his office in good faith, honestly and transparently and in the interests of the municipality.

“We have lost confidence in Mabilo to deal with the burgeoning crises facing the Sol Plaatje Municipality.”

The DA highlighted “six extreme” transgressions of the mayor where they also blamed him for poor management of the water crisis.

“His glaring absence in the public eye when the crisis was as its worst was irresponsible to say the least.

“He failed to communicate with the residents of Kimberley and left residents hanging in a state of uncertainty. He also absconded from several committee meetings and even made himself inaccessible to fellow councillor.

“We are tired of his regular unavailability to deal with the business of the Sol Plaatje Municipality. Sol Plaatje is in tatters and demands the full attention of the executive mayor.”

The party stated that Mabilo had failed to consult with council on the appointment of the acting municipal manager and acting chief financial officer.

“In fact, he basically placed the municipality under some form of administration on his own accord.”

It was also stated that Mabilo had failed “to take council into his confidence” before auctioning the mayor’s controversial Audi Q7, which he stated was to offset costs.

“It is the prerogative of the council to dispose of moveable capital assets and not that of the mayor. Council has never taken a resolution in terms of the sale of the vehicle. Therefore the executive mayor took this (decision) solely and has thus undermined council.

“We have been left in the dark as to why he is now auctioning off an almost brand new and perfectly functional mayoral vehicle which has by now significantly depreciated in value.”

The DA believed that Mabilo was negligent in not providing feedback on the Section 106 investigation report into the Sol Plaatje Municipality.

“We cannot accept a situation whereby criminals are being protected by the mayor and continue to steal taxpayers’ money because the mayor failed to implement any consequence management.”

The party also slated Mabilo for not laying criminal charges after the Sol Plaatje system was hacked, resulting in a loss of R298 million.

The DA will also request council to set aside a R1,6 million cleaning project that would employ 1 000 workers that they stated would operate exclusively in Galeshewe.

“Focus should also be on the CBD and other areas frequented by tourists over the festive season and events such as the skate-boarding and cricket tournaments being held in the city.

“We have not been informed where the money is coming from, who will be appointed for this project and whether project workers will be incorporated into this project.”

DA chief whip, Christopher Phiri, pointed out that council needed to be given assurances that this project was not a fundraiser for the ANC’s annual anniversary celebration next year.