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Expelled ANC members have Ace up their sleeve

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The ANC in the region found the two expelled members guilty of “the highest order of ill-discipline” when they refused to step down

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

WHILE an urgent interim interdict was granted by the Northern Cape High Court on Friday, to prevent the ousted Phokwane mayor and Speaker from entering the municipal offices in Hartswater, ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has intervened to protect the two expelled ANC members.

The former Phokwane mayor, Sentse Kalman, and the former Speaker, Horatius Modiakgotla, were told to vacate their offices after they lost their appeals against their expulsion from the ANC last month.

In April, the ANC regional disciplinary committee found Kalman and Modiakgotla guilty of undermining the decisions of the ANC caucus, collaborating with the opposition in council and dividing the ANC in the sub-region.

The ANC in the region found the two expelled members guilty of “the highest order of ill-discipline” when they refused to step down.

The Phokwane Municipality was placed under administration in April as it was struggling to pay its debts to Vaalharts Water, Sedibeng Water and Eskom and was having difficulty generating income.

According to the interim interdict, Kalman and Modiakgotla are prohibited from “using any threatening language of any nature” against the administrator, BK Ndwandwe, and the finance technical expert, JS Gomba.

They have also been interdicted from preventing or obstructing Ndwandwe and Gomba from fulfilling their obligations to intervene in the affairs of Phokwane Municipality.

They are not allowed to interfere in the administration of Phokwane municipality or elicit third parties to interfere with the administration of the municipality.

They may not enter or be present on the premises of the municipality in Hertzog Street, Hartswater, unless it is with the permission of Coghsta, the administrator, chairperson of the provincial executive council or finance technical expert.

They will be permitted into the municipality if they wish to pay their personal municipal accounts.

On June 26, Magashule instructed the ANC provincial secretary, Deshi Ngxanga, to suspend “all further action” against Modiakgotla and Kalman, pending a review by the ANC national executive committee (NEC).

Magashule stated that the NEC was requested to review the decision taken by the ANC regional executive committee and provincial disciplinary committee.

He advised that the Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, would step in and “use her ministerial powers” in an attempt “to resolve any impasse” at Phokwane Municipality.

Ngxanga said that the two expelled members had appealed to the ANC NEC under a “false pretext”.

He stated that the disciplinary hearings of Kalman and Modiakgotla, were concluded by the ANC regional disciplinary committee (RDC) of Frances Baard.

“The expelled members appealed the verdict to the provincial disciplinary committee (PDC). The provincial disciplinary appeals committee (PDCA) dismissed both appeals and upheld the outcome of the regional disciplinary committee. Given the fact that these comrades exhausted all organisational remedies to deal with their cases, the Independent Electoral Commission and Phokwane Municipality were informed that they are no longer members of the ANC and cannot represent the ANC on the municipal council. The REC was directed to start with the process of replacing the two expelled comrades.”

Ngxanga added that the Provincial Office was informed in writing that Kalman and Modiakgotla had approached the NEC to review the decision of the RDC and PDCA.

“It is quite clear that this matter was sent to the NEC under the false pretext that the two comrades still have room to escalate the matter upwards. The NEC was not the final arbiter in this case.”

Ngxanga explained that the two expelled members could not seek further recourse as the PDCA had the final say on the matter, where it upheld the decision of the RDC.

“The NEC can review a case if it was served before the national disciplinary committee or national disciplinary appeal committee. The review application of Kalman and Modiakgotla is therefore misdirected and entirely not in tandem with the ANC constitution. The outcome of the RDC and the PDCA will remain put. The NEC will only check whether we acted in a procedurally fair and just manner.”

The spokesperson for the Department of Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (Coghsta), Xhanti Teki, stated that this was “an intra-party political matter”.

“Coghsta is not empowered to comment on internal matters of political organisations.”

He did not indicate if the former mayor and Speaker were still occupying positions at the municipality, whether replacements had been appointed into their positions or if Coghsta would withdraw the interdict in light of the instruction given by the ANC secretary-general.